I usually have fiction novels on my blog but this month I'd like to present a non-fiction written by Christopher D. Schmitz.
He is a multi-talent author. His book "Why Your Pastor Left," sheds light on a side of the ministry that we often don't realize.
Christopher D Schmitz is an author of fiction and nonfiction as well as a regular blogger. He lives in Minnesota with his family.
Christopher says, “I’m pretty well established on social media as well, so be sure to click and connect!”
Christopher tell us about your book.
Nine of ten ministers know three or more peers who've been forced out of pastoral positions; a third of all pastors serve congregations who either fired the previous minister or actively forced their resignation; and at any given time, 75% of pastors in America want to quit. American church decline has reached epidemic proportions and in the last century, church influence has waned nearly 60%. Pastoral attrition is either an indicator of that problem or a central part of it. Why Your Pastor Left is full of detailed statistics and identifies the top ten “Ministry Killers” that cause pastoral stress and eventual “burnout.”
"Why Your Pastor Left" covers an interesting subject. My hubby is an associate pastor and I've heard many stories of the trails in ministry. Why did you decide to write the book?
I wrote Why Your Pastor Left after a difficult period in my life. I remember those moments after our pastor exited the building that Sunday afternoon; most of the congregation sat in shock, bewildered by what had just happened. A tiny, but powerful, minority wore victorious smiles at the minister’s sudden and forced exit. I’d been through this previously, (as the pastor being fired, nonetheless,) in a different community—and I suspected the pastoral coup—but that was of little value to the weeping woman next to me. Her question kept me awake all night. "Why did our pastor have to leave?"
In a search for answers, partly as an outlet for my anger, I began researching the problem and discovered several significant trends within the data. I also found another disturbing one: while many studies exist reflecting data on pastoral stressors, most of that data was collected 1-2 decades ago! Too few people are looking at the problem and nobody wants to talk about it.
I would love to connect with readers of my nonfiction or fiction (I also write Christian fiction very similar to Ted Dekker, Frank Peretti, or Stephen King). I can be found in all sorts of places on the internet and would love if you visited my website (where you can sign up for my mailing list, too)
As an independent writer I can offer a coupon/discount to readers of Mary Ball’s blog. It only works on the Createspace (part of Amazon) sales page and for the paperback version: https://www.createspace.com/6179216
Use code “3HS7WFP8” to knock $4.99 off from the price.
Christopher, share with us an excerpt and a few reviews.
Very few pastors leave their Church because of the condition of the building. Rather, a pastor leaves under good conditions (the calling of God, who moves resources according to His divine purpose,) or he/she leaves under poor conditions (and under the direction and will of human purpose.)
When a pastor leaves for human reasons, and under a negative context, understand that he or she may have left because of some of us. Perhaps one from the flock somehow damaged him or her, or changed situations beyond a pastor’s ability to perform his or her duty. Maybe the pastor was fired, or maybe they were just worn out. One thing I am certain of: the primary reason people leave ministry is not because of God, God is perfect. The reason is people, or human circumstances beyond their control.
Many people never know what circumstances under which a pastor departs. Just as we blur terminology by calling both the people and the structure, “church,” we often say that our pastor was simply “called elsewhere,” when in fact, they were directed by human guidance (be it their own, or another’s.)
I don’t know your situation, or your churches’ circumstances. I don’t want to put a label on anything or make blanket statements because no two situations are the same. A local church body’s values, vision, and structure often have an impact on the longevity of his or her stay, and upon the state of a pastor’s exit. Understanding your home church is the first step towards coping with the loss of a pastor and guarding against future man-made factors; these often influence a pastor to depart before their call has been fulfilled, before their tasks have been fully accomplished.
This book by Christopher Schmitz forced me to take a long, hard look at my expectations of church and leadership. As someone who has been a pastor and lay-leader I was made to examine the disconnect between parishioners, boards, and pastors.
I think it would be nearly impossible to read this book and not have a changed heart toward the functioning of our church bodies.
Excellent book---I got it at a critical time in my ministry! I'm still there and my problem isn't… should be required reading for every Pastor and theological student!
Excellent. Every pastor and church leader needs to read this book.
As a professionally trained minister without a church, I found Mr. Schmitz's words to be poignant and direct, speaking to a wide range of church experiences. Why Your Pastor Left isn't as much a descriptive narrative as it is a prophetic foretelling. Put simply, churches NEED the principles in this book in order to help the pastor grow, which in turn helps the church. Deacons, elders, *Board Members*, read this before you ever take office. It will do nothing but help the kingdom.
But more than informative, Mr. Schmitz interlaces Biblical scholarship, hard-hitting statistics, and gut-wrenching anecdotes seamlessly to create a can't-put-it-down feeling.
Great reviews. Tell us more about where we can find your book.
Why Your Pastor Left is available in paperback, ebook, or on audible. You can find it on amazon or other retailers, though it’s exclusive on Kindle ebook for the time being.
It also just recently it made it into the Ingram catalogue with full returnability, so independent/mom&pop/small Christian bookstores can carry it on their shelves with confidence.
Thanks and remember Christopher offers a discount to all the readers. It promises to be a intriguing read.
Oct is a wonderful month. Fall spreads its wings, and the mountains paint a lovely picture with seasonal colors. I believe some of us look back during this time of the year to the memories past. This is a great time to have Diane Dean White on Monthly Smiles. She’s an awesome author who knows how to make readers feel warm and cozy with her novella Stories From a Porch Swing.
Diane started her writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until her husband’s work took them to a small southern town she wrote her first column, “Yankee Viewpoint’s” for a local newspaper. Returning to her home-state of Michigan, she did stringer work over the years, ancestral history, and donor appeal letters for non-profit organizations. Diane became a columnist for a weekly magazine, for four years. She is the author of over three-hundred short stories. Her books to date are: Carolina in the Morning, On a Summer Night, Texting Mr. Right, Winter Wonderland, This Side of Heaven, and Stories from a Porch Swing. She and hubby, Stephen, have been married for forty-four years, and they are the parents of three grown children and three grand-gals, and live in the Sunshine state.
Meet this great lady and comment for a chance to win an eBook.
Thank you Mary, I appreciate you inviting me to talk about my book. In my new paperback release, Stories from a Porch Swing, I share the loving gratitude for two sets of grandparents that took time to spend with me. They shared their memories while I cherished new ones we made together. It’s important to preserve the past and I’m grateful for those gifts from them.
Tell the readers about Stories From a Porch Swing.
STORIES FROM A PORCH SWING…is about special memories shared with two sets of loving
Grandparents and one old porch swing.
What inspired you to write Stories from a Porch Swing?
Both sets of grandparents had porches, but just one had an open large porch with a swing at the back.
The other had a large enclosed from porch with windows to watch everything happening on Main Street.
Chatter went on from a young age until those homes were sold, and I’ve chosen to have the porch from my dad’s parents illustrated on the book cover. This is a big part of my memory bank.
How did you choose the title of your book?
It just made sense remembering the talks on that old porch swing.
What is your favorite scene/chapter?
These are a collection of short-stories; many have been published in magazines, books and even a Japanese college study book. All the stories are special to me. They’re very different and although most take place in the two small towns my parents were from, there are a few written about my home town and the capitol city of Michigan, in the 1950’s.
Is there a message in this book, you want readers to grasp?
The big one would be to share your life and that of older relatives with young kids today. They can spend all day with their ears glued to whatever device they have, but have them listen to you and share the things from past generations. I often suggest people video gatherings and use a recorder to speak with the oldest person there, asking questions and getting background. Once that generation is gone, you’ll have only what you took time to learn about.
Diane, that is so true about the younger ones of today. I think the art of handing down memories has faded, but I hope that it never dies because a good memory can comfort us and give us hope. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in this book?
Maybe add a few more stories.
Are you working on a new project you can tell us about it?
Yes, a story about an orphan train in the 1920’s that took children from poverty stricken areas to farming and other communities to give them a better chance at life. I’m enjoying the research so much.
This sounds like a another wonderful novel. I’m looking forward to reading it and I know others will enjoy it too.
Don't forget to comment. One lucky reader will win a copy of Stories From A Porch Swing.
Click to set custom HTML