13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Three Stars for Clarity, Five for the Message,
This review is from: Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness (Paperback)
Unlike the other reviewers, I am not a minister although I read this book because I am thinking of candidating.
Briefly looking at the content of the book, Peterson uses the book of Jonah as a story-metaphor for what he sees as the ideal way of being a minister. It seems to me that he has two main points: 1) that a minister must first and foremost be grounded in a spirit-filled life through prayer and; 2) to achieve that, the minister must stay in one church throughout his or her whole ministry to really be rooted in the lives of people in the congregation.
He develops other points such as the idea that American culture wants the minister to be first and foremost a "program director" rather than a "spiritual director". He believes that the expectation of the church hierarchies as well as congregations is that ministers will whip up the action and make things happened as if they were PR executives rather than healers of souls. In contrast, Peterson advocates a ministry of waiting and watching for the God who walks before all of us so that the minister does not interfere with the work of the Holy Spirit.
This book is written almost as a series of images, metaphors, stories and parables rather than as a propositional treatise, which is hardly surprising given the author's literary background. While this allows the reader to make of some of the messages what he or she will, I found myself thinking "I KNOW the church hierarchy will try to push me to be a glorified PR executive if I'm successful in candidating for the ministry, but what steps can one take to avoid that happening in the first place?" I don't think this book answers that question and I think it's one of the main questions he poses. Perhaps we are to figure out the answer ourselves?...?