Graceful Exit : A Pastors Journey From Good Bye To Hello


According to researchers, 70 percent of pastors regularly think about leaving the ministry. And we all know that the remaining 30 percent at least have a friend or colleague who is thinking about the same thing.

In The Graceful Exit, Mary Lindberg shares insights from her own experience of ending service to a congregation, as well as wisdom from other pastors who changed their lives’ work. “In addition to the Bible,” Lindberg explains in her Preface, “I also wanted someone to hand me a guidebook” about the huge decision and change she was undertaking. After years of standing behind the pulpit, she thought, how would she witness to God and relate to fellow worshippers from a pew near the back of the church? With The Graceful Exit, Lindberg has created such a guidebook.

Saying goodbye to a congregation — and a ministry — can be timely and sweet, and sometimes it can be jarring and painful. It is almost always complicated and freighted with the outward grief of leaving people behind as well as the inward grief of leaving an identity behind. Lindberg invites readers to pull apart the strands of self and role, individual and community; confront regrets, confusion, and dislocation; and figure out where and who God is at this juncture in their lives.

With compassion and not a little wit, Lindberg reflects on a wide range of issues, from the practical (How to break the news to the congregation?) to the deeper spiritual themes of fulfillment, surrender, community, legacy, and separation that every departing pastor will face. Questions for reflection are included at key points in the text.

The Graceful Exit is meant for

Pastors who are thinking about leaving the ministry and need help to discern their final decision — one way or the other.
Pastors who already have made their decision and want to make the most graceful exit they can.
The friend or colleague you see struggling with this issue.


SKU (ISBN): 9781566994323
ISBN10: 1566994322
Mary Lindberg
Binding: Trade Paper
Published: December 2012
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group

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