Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor


by Rev. Christopher I. Thoma

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A collection of stories, Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor peeks behind the curtain and shines a light into what has become for so many in pastoral ministry a very dark place. From abusive members to impossible schedules often resulting in failing health and family decay, Ten Ways presents church-goers with an opportunity for personal reflection as well as gives voice to the often undetectable “hurts” lurking behind the pastor’s smile.

What people are saying…

Sharing experiences is important. The sharing of experience isn’t to stop. And while seminary courses, field work, and vicarage assignments all serve important roles in forming pastors for dealing with people, Chris Thoma brings together and shares the often unteachable experiences in Ten Ways to Kill a Pastor. A Lutheran minister, Thoma faces off with ten troubling situations that often confront pastors and their families, and he does so through easy to read vignettes. Each is presented so vividly that the reader—whether pastor, spouse, or layperson—will ask silently, ‘How is it that he knows me so well?’ They are incredibly real and reflect life in the ministry from a very important perspective. Each chapter being a mirror of a pastor’s soul, I highly recommend this as a resource to be studied and discussed by pastors and laypeople alike. The Lutheran Confessions speak of the ‘mutual consolation of the brethren.’ Thoma has provided a place where the need for that consolation can be identified and the effort begun.

Rev. Dr. David P. Scaer
Professor at Concordia Theological Seminary and author of Discourses in Matthew and James: The Apostle of Faith

This book provides a real and gritty depiction of the pastoral ministry. Pastor Thoma does a great service to the church by exposing the abuses that many pastors often endure while presenting the ever present comfort of Christ Jesus. There is tremendous comfort—even in the midst of tremendous pain—knowing that God is not at war with His people.

Rev. A. Trevor Sutton
Pastor of Saint Luke Lutheran Church, Haslett, Michigan and author of Being Lutheran

It is difficult for many church members to fully understand the demands of pastoral ministry. Chris Thoma helps by presenting ten high-stress scenarios caused by congregations that have the potential for destroying pastors.

Kent Crockett
President, Making Life Count Ministries, Inc. and author of Pastor Abusers: When Sheep Attack their Shepherd

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