Prophet in the Pulpit

A Leadership Journal review

The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral
Ministry (IVP, 2012) by David Rohrer

Metaphors matter. Consider, for example, if you see your role as pastor as that of a CEO. You'll view your duties in terms of casting vision and seeing it to fruition, hiring and managing auxiliary staff, and keeping watch of the bottom line. "Shepherd of the flock of God" carries different connotations—presence and guidance rather than vision and execution.

David Rohrer knows the power of metaphors. In The Sacred Wilderness of Pastoral Ministry he tries several of them on, including midwife, town cryer, and "crewman on a vessel sailing in turbulent waters." But the one he likes best, the one he holds out as biblical and culturally relevant for today's pastoral ministry is "prophet."

Rohrer holds up John the Baptist as a model for prophetic pastoral ministry because, Rohrer suggests, John addressed two concerns pastors share today: "personal renewal" and "institutional reform." More important, John "understood ...

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From Issue:Summer 2012: Transformation
June
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