13 Mar A Time for Healing – Book Review
A Time for Healing:
Overcoming the Perils of Ministry
Valley Forge: Judson, 1995, 110, $14.00; Paper
Reviewed by Kenneth H. Mayton, Ed. D.,
Assistant Dean for Doctoral Studies,
Oral Roberts University
School of Theology and Missions, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Jody Seymour's book, A Time for Healing, is as the subtitle states, about overcoming the perils of ministry.
Really, the author is speaking about woundedness and brokenness as a result of the perils of ministry. In the Introduction, Pastor Seymour states that the seeds for this book came out of feelings regarding calling names of the ministers who had “died to ministry” for one reason or another. This was a part of his annual conference of the United Methodist Church. This book is clearly divided into three parts. Part I is labeled Biblical Models and uses key biblical characters to describe several “perils” or concerns which are part of a minister’s life and profession. Part II is “Using the Enneagram to Understand Ministerial Leadership Styles.” The Enneagram is an ancient tool for spiritual discernment and the path of wholeness in each. The third section is titled, “The Renewal Journey” and is a twenty-one-day self guided renewal experience.
Each section can stand alone, but each does compliment the thesis of the author. In Section I, The Humanness of the Minister is represented by Adam and Eve, Ambition in Ministry by Cain and Abel. Jacob and Esau show the need for the blessing and King Saul, the Madness of Ministry. David exemplifies clergy sexual misconduct and Jeremiah, clergy burnout. Women are included by Esther’s life under the title, Wounds of Women in Ministry. This section concludes with Simon Peter as an example for ministerial effectiveness. The title for the chapter on ministry effectiveness is, “If You Want to Walk on Water, First Have Breakfast with Jesus.”