Saturday, September 27, 2008

First Chapter of THE RUNAWAY PASTOR

The Runaway Pastor--chapter 1.I have finally placed the first chapter of my novel on-line. I will post more in the days and weeks ahead. PLEASE understand the following: The main character in the book is not me. His wife is not my wife. His church is not my congregation.

However, I wrote this novel out of experience and after hundreds of conversations with many pastor friends. I love the church and I am grateful to the service that clergy give her. I hope this book provides an inside look into the life of one pastor that came to the end of what he could do.

Please respond. I am posting this in order to gather some interest in the final product, which is not yet published. I look forward to your input and interest. For now it is in WORD format. Let me know if that is a problem.

Here is the link:
http://docs.google.com/View?docid=dhdr3wvs_0d87ks7hp

Thanks for taking the time.

5 comments:

david said...

I appreciate the emails you are sending. They are very encouraging. If you are willing, I would appreciate you leaving comments on here so we can make this a group thing. If you are having trouble leaving comments, let me know. david

Philip Rogers said...

I found your first chapter grabbing my attention and identification. Well written and creative. I'm not sure how objective I can be, as being a pastor myself causes me to find more than a normal level of empathy. I am looking forward to chapter 2.

Duane said...

The first chapter of The Runaway Pastor drew me from the opening line to the ending paragraph. I found myself even thinking about a place where I would run to if...

If you haven't read chapter 1, go and read it. Then send the link to all your pastor friends. After they read the first chapter, why not talk about it with your friends. Those who are honest will say their middle name is Trent. Haven't we all at one time or another wondered what life would look like on the other side of the ministry desk? Is that wrong? Is it sinful? Is it natural? Recently we purchased our own home. I have lived in a parsonage for 30 plus years having been a PK. The moment we moved into our own home, there was a sense of security that came over me that I had never felt. When you leave ministry, you have to leave everything. Now that isn't the case.
Back to the first chapter...when Trent decided to make his move, he really decided it years earlier. Read the last paragraph. He told his bishop that he surrendered years ago. I took that to mean that the ministry that Trent believed he could keep authentic by working hard and pleasing everyone was far from it. For the majority of us, we will not run physically. However, how many of us have been Trent for even a moment. As I read the chapter, I was sipping the lemonade, I was feeling the cool breeze, I as watching the palm tree sway....I am still in Indiana, but for a moment I wondered what it would be like to get a real job and do ministry through that context. It seems to me that perhaps the church of today limits ministry. What do you think? Structure, financial restrictions, boundary lines...all seem to keep ministry contained and restricted.
I don't know where Trent is going. I am trying to figure out the story. At first when I was reading about Trent, a middle aged, late forty something came to mind. However, as I continued to read, a late 30 something came to mind. Think about his setting. He has a worship pastor. This tells me that Trent probably pastors a 100 or 200 people. He has probably moved up the ranks quickly. His bishop's surprise to Trent's running, indicates a close connection to Trent. Pastoring a small church doesn't warrant such relationship in my setting at least. Trent's spent a decade or more as a highly motivated pastor trying to change the world, his denomination, his church, his community...only to find that the machine we call "Church" has lost it's ability to attract and keep and help those that are lost.
I can't wait for chapter 2. IF you have friends in the ministry, send them the link to chapter 1. You may just help someone in the process. After all, that seems to be the point of this bpok. Blessings.

david said...

Duane, it seems so incredible to read your comments about what I have written. It is as if you are inside of Trent's skin like I was when I wrote.

When you ask if the church today limits ministry to outsiders, you are right on track.

Duane said...

The book keeps getting better and better.

If you haven't read chapter 1 yet, please go and read it. You will be as anxious as I was to get chapter 2. In fact, since receiving a copy of the whole thing, I haven't been able to do anything else but read it. I am ready to buy a signed copy for my nightstand. I want my wife to read it. I want those around me to read it. I want everyone to spend a few moments reading the book.

Perhaps you can't relate to Trent...perhaps you can. Perhaps Trent is your escape. However you relate to Trent or not, there is a Trent in your life somewhere. You know someone who has run or someone who wants to. I don't think it wise to run from your family, but at least Trent is giving his church a chance to reflect on their own presence in their community. If their church had become more business than ministry, and I am sure many of us if not all of us can relate to this. If CEO is more appropriate than shepherd, then it was about time a church heard the sounding gong and woke up to making sure the church they pass on to the next generation is more real and more authentic than which they found it. can it be true that we have moved away from ministry and truly focusing on discipling others and moved towards a wait and see. Wait and see if people will come. When they do come what are we giving them. Are we providing them with authentic real and or genuine people to worship with; or are we like Brandon in the book just putting on a show.