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The Pastor as Detective

New pastors enter a multidimensional, nuanced, at times confusing world. This is true with every new posting, and particularly true at the beginning of a first call. Successful pastors take time to listen to both the spoken and unspoken messages of their congregants so they can speak to the real situations in their congregation’s life. They learn to be good detectives and to listen with the heart as well as the ears, for the presence of God in the congregation’s life and in the lives of each individual congregant. Bruce G. Epperly articulates the artistry of pastoral leadership in an essay on the Alban Institute’s website. Following the article are recommended resources for new clergy and clergy who would like to expand their detective toolbox.



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Review rank-ordered data on religion in the U.S. and around the world. Includes the latest data from the Religious Congregations & Membership Study, 2010


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