Book review: What Color Is Your Parachute?
Interestingly, Bolles couldn't find a publisher for his book, so he self-published (which, in the 70s, was stigmatized with the reputation of amateurism and poor quality, if not pure arrogance—that's why they used to call self-publishing companies "vanity presses"). Today, I'm sure he is glad that he did: without a doubt, the industry and brand that has grown up with What Color Is Your Parachute? (which Bolles has updated and re-released on an annual basis) has done quite well for him.
When I first began to learn about things like temperament and what professor (and Doulos Resources board member) Phil Douglass calls "discovering your Divine Design," I found it to be both fascinating and incredibly useful for pastoral transition. Richard Bolles was a pioneer in that category (though he doesn't rely heavily on temperament as Douglass's system does), and the book is chock-full of diagnostic exercises that will help anyone—pastor or otherwise—in discerning nuances and details about what sort of job(s) would fit them the best.
Bolles walks the reader through a process of self-discovery that is not only revealing, but immensely encouraging to the reader. His former profession as a pastor comes through in his writing, and it is clear that he is aware (probably all too aware, both from his personal experiences in the 70s as well as from countless encounters with others since then) of how challenging a season of job transition is. Hardly a page can be turned before he is building the reader up with hope and anticipation about their next job opportunity.
This can have a downside, as well: in today's job climate (very different from the context in which Bolles originally wrote in the early 70s), it is possible to over-encourage, to the point of building someone's hopes up in an unreasonable way. Good self-discovery and awareness of job fitness will not guarantee anyone a placement.
But they will take you further than an absence of them will—and that ultimately is Bolles's point and goal in writing. If you take the time to work through What Color Is Your Parachute? and complete the exercises within it, you will have a clearer sense of who you are and what you bring to a job, as well as where your weaknesses lie and how you can work around them.
Buy a copy of What Color Is Your Parachute? from Amazon.
For All the Saints endorsement/review
Ed Eubanks is wise to tremble, as he says, at the prospect of writing a book on prayer, but I am glad that the women’s prayer ministry at his church in western Tennessee prevailed upon him to set aside his understandable timidity and write this practical little treatise on praying for the church. The topics covered in the space of just 88 pages range widely over a number of arenas needing focused intercession from “all the saints”. Prayer in behalf of Christ’s church is both our great privilege and the source of spiritual power in being and doing all that our Sovereign Lord has designed and destined the church to be and do. Some of these areas of focus in prayer include unity, the ministry of Word and Sacrament, church discipline and restoration, fellowship and growth, the lost, renewal and revival, suffering, church leadership and the return of Christ. The section at the end of each chapter called “prayer summary” is worth the price of the book. Together these sections compose an impressive prayer list for those committed to upholding their church in prayer. Few have been able to compose something on prayer that is sensitive to the theology of prayer while being intensely practical in providing specific guidance in what to pray. Many will find, as I have, this little book to be large in usefulness."
recently Senior Pastor of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church, Ballwin, Missouri.
At long last
That book, now seven years in the making, is finally out! From M.Div. to Rev.: making an effective transition from seminary into pastoral ministry, is finally available. It can be had in print and digital editions.
Because the book is published by Doulos Resources, naturally I would prefer that you buy it directly through the Doulos Resources eStore.
However, it is also available through the Covenant Seminary Bookstore, as well as through Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble (if not immediately, then soon). Hopefully, more resellers (especially seminary bookstores) will be carrying it soon, as well.
Thanks to those of you who have supported the concept of this book. The wait is over! (Of course, now most of you are well-placed in ministry and your interest is merely theoretical...)
General Assembly seminar
The seminar will be loosely based on the topic of my booklet, Grafted Into The Vine: rethinking biblical church membership-- though the content will be quite different (and different from last year's seminar as well).
The seminar is at 8am, and is tentatively scheduled for Meeting Room(s) 4A&B. I hope to see you there!
(PS: many of the Doulos Resources titles will also be available through the PCA CE&P Bookstore, including Grafted Into The Vine.)