When All Else Fails, Wayne L. Menking
Wayne L. Menking

When All Else Fails

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The condition of stuck is a condition well known by pastoral caregivers and leaders. In When All Else Fails, Wayne Menking argues that the way out of stuckness is not through the acquisition of faddish techniques, but through a deep rethinking of our pastoral vocation and what our pastoral work is to be about. Pastoral care and leadership are not indistinguishable, just as priestly work can never be separated from prophetic work. They are always one and the same. Pastoral care and leadership, then, are not about helping people relieve their anxiety through the offering of palliative comfort, but rather helping people to engage the powers that have hold of their life so as to leave what is old for what is new. In this engagement, the caregiver will always encounter powers against which niceness and unconditional love will not work. Using biblical images and narratives that depict God as a deeply empathic and compassionate God, yet one who is never adaptively sympathetic, Menking asserts that pastoral caregivers and leaders must shed their niceness and adaptivity so as to employ their God-given power if they are to help people effectively leave what is old for what is new.
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147 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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