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Spiritual Life: The Foundation for Preaching and Teaching [Paperback]

By John Westerhoff (Author)
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Item description for Spiritual Life: The Foundation for Preaching and Teaching by John Westerhoff...

Is it possible for preachers and teachers to have a fully effective ministry if their personal spiritual lives are not vibrant? Leading Christian educator Westerhoff says it is not, and offers this resource to help preachers and teachers revitalize their lives and ministries.

Publishers Description

John Westerhoff offers this resource to help preachers and teachers revitalize their lives and ministries. Noting that the health of our spiritual life is based on our image of God, he asks readers to open their imaginations to new ways of knowing. Recognizing that the spiritual life can be fostered in many ways, he helps readers recognize which types of spiritual formation are most compatible with particular personality types.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.1" Width: 6.04" Height: 0.3"
Weight:   0.28 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 8, 1997
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664255000  
ISBN13  9780664255008  

Availability  64 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 08:17.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About John Westerhoff

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! John Westerhoff was Professor of Theology at Duke University Divinity School for twenty years. He is now the Founding Director for the Institute for Pastoral Studies at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the author of many books including "Living the Faith Community: The Church That Makes a Difference" and "Will Our Children Have Faith?".

John Westerhoff currently resides in Atlanta.

John Westerhoff has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Foundation for Preaching and Teaching

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Worship & Devotion > Devotionals
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > Devotionals

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Pastoral Help > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Spiritual Life?

Spiritual Life: The Foundation for Preaching and Teaching  Aug 3, 2007
A short but satisfying book, full of great insights for preaching and teaching. It is a treasure particulalry for those spiritually hungry and burnt-out.
A spiritual experience...  Jan 28, 2005
Do not be fooled by its size - good things come in small packages. In a mere 78 pages of text, John Westerhoff creates a wonderful basis for reflection and meditation on the importance of spirituality in teaching and preaching. I read this book in connection with a course on Christian education, but one of the interesting parts of the idea of this book is that it transcends narrow confines often associated with 'Christian ed' or 'things the preacher does' - this book is indeed intended for preachers and teachers, but can be read with value by almost anyone.

Westerhoff himself is someone who sees teaching as a vocation - not just a job, but rather a life calling, that involves the devotion of one's entire self to the matter for it to be successful. Success is not determined here in the sense of monetary reward as much as it is in a fulfillment of one's deepest needs and longings.

One of the primary themes running through this brief text is the need for attentiveness and self-care, particularly in the realm of spiritual practices. Chapter six in particular develops this idea - entitled 'Developing a Spiritual Discipline', the chapter looks at various practices that can be of value to teachers, preachers, or indeed anyone seeking a more centered and fulfilling life, in tune with one's own spirituality and spiritual needs. Westerhoff uses the example of jogging - sometimes it can seem like a chore, particularly prior to starting, but through disciplined attention, the chore becomes more like a natural part of life, and even feels as if something is missing when it is not done. Westerhoff does not prescribe a particular pattern of spiritual practices, but rather describes many (journaling, presence, lectio divina, spiritual friends) that can be incorporated productively. He also discusses certain aspects that will make this spiritual pursuit more worthwhile (time, place, preparation, etc.).

Preaching and teaching, according to Westerhoff, involve the imagination. Referencing Maria Harris' book, 'Teaching and the Religious Imagination', Westerhoff argues for a model of teaching that involves contemplation, engagement, a movement toward giving form or shape, emergence of something new, and finally, release. The process has definite advantages over the memorisation and rote recitation methods of many educational paradigms.

While Westerhoff writes from a Christian perspective (he is an Episcopal priest), this book is not dogmatically Christian, or even particularly religious, focusing instead upon common features of spirituality, particularly as far as teaching is concerned. Westerhoff himself comes from a Reformed background (which, he states, taught him to 'long for an experience of God') but leans toward Orthodox and Catholic spiritual traditions in many ways.

The one thing that would strengthen this powerful little text would be a formal 'recommended readings' list - Westerhoff mentions many titles into the text (Rahner's 'Prayers for a Lifetime', Rice's 'Reformed Spirituality', Walker's 'Revolutionary Petunias and Other Poems', etc.) that are also repeated in the end notes, but a regular bibliographic list would be nice, perhaps supplemented with other texts related and found to be worthwhile by Westerhoff.

Simply reading this book was a spiritual experience for me. May it be for you as well.
Small but insightful  Oct 17, 2001
John Westerhoff's book on spirituality for preachers and teachers can be read very slowly, a section at a time, and reflected upon. Westerhoof follows a classical approach to spirituality, but he is also able to relate the discipline whose ministry involves teaching and preaching. This is a small volume, but is very insightful. There might be a temptation to read it in one sitting, but that would impede the reader from savoring the insights obtained by reflection. Each chapter is broken down into sections and each section offers material for reflection and prayer.
A breath of fresh air for ministers  Oct 25, 2000
John Westerhoff helps the reader return to the roots of all ministry, not only preaching and teaching. He boldly challenges the terms and practices of the church and ministry with a renewing spirit. He helps us explore our relationship with God and how we are actively living out that relationship with God and with each other. A joy.
Lots of "good stuff" in a small book!  Mar 30, 1999
Excellent illustrations to back up the "how-to" of developing a more effective spiritual life.

Basics, according to author, are... 1. Embracing suffering 2. Silence and solitute 3. Attention to restlessness 4. Image of Christ

Easy to read, but caused me to want to read and re-read.



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