When The People Say No
Psychological insight, theological understanding, and biblical metaphor combine here to offer solid help for a little-understood aspect of the minister's task. What is the minister to do when confronted with opposition from his or her own congregation, when met with frustration in his or her ministry? With empathy for both the minister's plight and the congregation's pain, James Dittes shows how these very frustrations can be the beginning of real and healing ministry. When the people abandon the intimacy and openness of the church with appeals for agenda and rigidity, when projects begun with enthusiasm collapse in apathy, when the people demand that the minister conform to their image of him or her: all these bespeak a need, even an unspoken pain, underlying the surface conflict. At the very point the minister most feels the desire to pack up and move on his people may most need him to stay. 'When the People Say No' will help every minister recognize this enigmatic call and meet it with a creative and healing response.
James E. Dittes