Roots and Routes

Calling, Ministry, and the Power of Place

Book - Paperback
Roots and Routes
Paperback ISBN: 9781501868153
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E-Book ISBN: 9781501868160
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Published March 2019

Why do so many pastors and leaders in seminary and local church ministry feel confused, dissatisfied, or, strangely enough, like they’ve missed their calling?

Randy Litchfield’s fresh look at the perennial question of vocation combines theological reflection on the development of personal spiritual identity with a thoughtful look at the significant dimension of place – how the realities of our contexts call for particular responses to vocation in specific times and places.

Roots and Routes helps pastors and leaders claim a rich vocational imagination for recognizing God’s ongoing call to partnership in the specific, concrete locales of ministry.

The Carnegie Institute’s rich ethnographic studies of graduate education in the professions reveal that guiding experiences of risk are at the heart of professional development – combining call with experiences in the actual realities of professional life. Hence the emphasis on field education and internships. But how can we help pastors and leaders see calling as a life-long process of discernment and response? With ministerial burnout (and confusion) at an all-time high, connecting the dots between the ongoing call of God and the specific locales of ministry is an interpretive life-skill necessary for pastors, leaders, and disciples of Jesus Christ.

Failed vocational imagination obstructs the effectiveness of individuals and the church as a whole in fulfilling their mission of partnership with God’s creating, redeeming, and sustaining work in the world.

The primary audience for the book is seminary educators and students and pastors. It also has congregational leaders in mind.

Table of Contents:

  • Chapter 1: Purpose, Place, and Vocational Imagination
  • Chapter 2: Gathering and Flourishing: Forming Relationships
  • Chapter 3: Partnership with God in Place: Rethinking Vocation
  • Chapter 4: Gathering and Emerging: Place and Relationships
  • Chapter 5: With Whom is God Partnering:?: Capacities and Stories in Vocation
  • Chapter 6: Attending to Roots: Vocation and the Places We Dwell
  • Chapter 7: Attending to Routes: Vocation and Connections between Places
  • Chapter 8: Gathering Saints: Fostering Vocational Imagination

About the Author

Randy G. Litchfield

Randy Litchfield is the Browning Professor of Christian Education at Methodist Theological School in Ohio (MTSO). His experience as both an engineer in the corporate world and theological educator gives him a unique background for addressing vocation and place.

Dr. Litchfield served five years as Academic Dean at MTSO and helps form graduate and Course of Study students for a variety of lay and ordained ministries through courses on education, practical theology, place, and leadership.