Last week I had the opportunity to read and review Lee Eclov’s book Pastoral Graces. It really is a helpful book for pastors and would probably be beneficial to anyone that loves Jesus. Pastor Eclov was kind enough to answer 7 questions about his book, ministry, and Mike Ditka. Here is part 1 of the interview:
1. I have several books on pastoral ministry in my office. Why should I buy one more?
I’m not sure you should. But I don’t think many books help pastors simply remember how good it is to be a pastor—what a privilege it is to be dispensers of God’s grace in a thousand simple ways. I have had many pastors tell me already how my stories (which are not much different than other pastors’ stories) and a certain way with words God that has given me have encouraged them significantly. It’s pretty amazing, to tell you the truth.
2. Your book has been out for a few months now. Anything that you'd change or add to a second edition?
Caught a couple typos, but other than that, no. A writer friend told me, “When it’s done, don’t look back. It’ll never be perfect.”
3. In your book you mention that when given some crazy ideas you now default to a "yes" rather than a "no". Can you give us an example of a really crazy idea that you might have instinctively said no to, but it actually was something God used in a significant way?
To be clear, some are ideas are crazy, and the best plan is benevolent neglect. In the book I tell about the idea of a car cruise as an evangelistic outreach. I thought that was a crazy idea that worked like gangbusters. I thought when some folks got the idea of bringing their dogs to a local nursing home it was kind of goofy, but it turned out to be a winner.
4. On page 125 you say, "This can be a bruising business, and if we keep tying pillows around us we don't fell people's punches. Of course, we can't feel touches of love very well either". What are some disciplines that you have put into your life to keep you from tying pillows around yourself?
I don’t know that it is a discipline, but I have to stay authentic. I don’t have to be equally available emotionally to everyone, but I can’t hide behind my pastor-face or go plastic on people who will tax me. I also have to talk to Jesus about relationships that are tough on me. When I wrote about “punches” I wasn’t thinking so much about criticism as people that are draining and difficult. I think with some critical people we do have keep a certain emotional distance. That doesn’t mean we’re not loving.
Be sure to check out Part 2 tomorrow. And don’t forget to purchase the book if you haven’t already.