Useful Wisdom

Letters to Young (and Not-So-Young) Ministers

By Anthony B. Robinson

Useful Wisdom

paperback-logo

  • ISBN: 9781532683435
  • Pages: 132
  • Publication Date: 3/18/2020
  • Retail Price: $16.00
Web Price: $12.80
Web Price: $12.80

Useful Wisdom

Letters to Young (and Not-So-Young) Ministers

By Anthony B. Robinson

paperback-logo

PAPERBACK

  • ISBN: 9781532683435
  • Pages: 132
  • Publication Date: 3/18/2020
  • Retail Price: $16.00
Web Price: $12.80

About-

“We’ve got a list of questions, issues, stuff we’re dealing with. We want your input, your thoughts on this stuff.” Such were the origins of this little book. Two young clergy, early in their first call, imagined that I might have some useful wisdom to pass on based on my own years in ministry. Something like this was once standard preparation. Young people learned a profession like law, ministry, or medicine by apprenticing themselves to one seasoned in the practice. Not only has that way of learning largely vanished but we now live in times of increasing segregation and suspicion between different generations. Still, these two millennials bucked the trends. They thought they might have something to learn from an old boomer. The result is this collection of letters: personal, wry, direct, and honest. Full of both hope and realism about the church and ministry. This collection will be a welcome companion for young, and for many not so young, clergy trying to get a handle on ministry in the midst of a time that is full of change and challenge.

Endorsements & Reviews-

“Anthony Robinson is many things: pastor, theologian, consultant, preacher, leader, teacher, and more. In this excellent volume, Robinson adds the role of mentor to pastors younger and older. His net of discernment gathers ‘useful wisdom’ from his long experience in the church, addressing issues in ministry such as public prayer and handling the inevitability of bullies. . . . Robinson provides gentle, wise, and honest guidance.”

—Thomas G. Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching, Candler School of Theology, Emory University



“Into this lovely, affectionate book, pastor and master church coach Tony Robinson pours a lifetime of insights on the joys and the challenges of pastoral ministry. Tony’s steadfast but also critical and experienced love for the vocation of church leadership shines through on every page. Offered as testimony to his daughter who is beginning ministry, Tony gives Paul-to-Timothy guidance that will be strong, realistic, faithful encouragement to anyone in ministry today.”

—Will Willimon, Professor of Christian Ministry, Duke Divinity School



“On many a hiking trail, I have been the lucky recipient of my dad’s wisdom. Now I’m so glad for myself (and others) to have access to his wisdom, even when retirement hobbies take him out of cell phone range. These letters are a breath of fresh air, a gentle reminder to get back to basics, and a saving grace whenever ministry feels overwhelming or isolating. And I have no doubt they will be this for all who encounter them.”

—Laura Robinson, pastor, Bethel United Church of Christ



“This is a generous book filled with seasoned observations and practical counsel. But even more, it is a testament to Tony Robinson’s conviction that the pastoral life is a worthy one. His letters brim with encouragement to all who have taken it up, providing much-needed companionship as well as useful wisdom. I am no ‘young minister,’ but I came away edified, instructed, and grateful.”

—Mary Luti, United Church of Christ pastor



Useful Wisdom reminds us of the importance of building relationships across generations and creating safe spaces to share our most vulnerable selves. ‘Generational differences are real, but aren’t whole the story.’ The story of the church is ever unfolding, but it’s an incredible gift to receive bread for our journey. Useful Wisdom is the manna my soul needed.”

—Brittany Juliette Hanlin, Associate Minister, Marble Collegiate Church, New York



“This book brought me back to a time of life I vividly remember: the daily swing, as a new minister, between ‘I love this job!’ and ‘How in the world do I survive this job?’ Tony Robinson is the wise companion I needed then and still do: someone to help me reflect on my ministry with perspective and purpose. The letters he writes in this book will feel as if they were addressed to you, personally. Read them, and then read them again. In any season of life, this is a book to treasure.”

—Anna Carter Florence, Peter Marshall Professor of Preaching, Columbia Theological Seminary

Contributors-

Anthony B. Robinson

Bio(s)-

Anthony B. Robinson has a ministry and writings that have spoken wisely and helpfully to thousands of clergy and hundreds of congregations. He is an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ, who has served four congregations, consulted with scores of congregations and their leaders, and taught in several different seminaries. He is the author of a dozen books including the best-seller Transforming Congregational Culture and the award-winning What’s Theology Got To Do with It?

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