Nuturing ministers: Case studies, Intro

12/24/2018 § 1 Comment

As I am working on a revision of my book on the Quaker ministry, I am revisiting historical accounts of times when a minister was given guidance (eldering, oversight, nurture, discipline).

As part of that work, I will from time to time post “case studies” on this blog. These case studies will certainly be of use to me, as I think about my project, but they may also be of interest to others — both ministers, and those who have a care for them.

For each study, I will examine (at least) the following questions:
• What happened? That is, the sequence of events, and some context (e.g. locale, relevant historical details, biographical notes, etc.).

• Who was involved? This includes who’s telling the story, as well as who the story’s about.

• What was the issue, problem, or occasion for the interaction?

• Who initiated the nurture or eldering? Did the minister request guidance, was it an action of a meeting or a private exchange? Was the guidance coming from a contemporary or someone younger or older? If guidance came from individuals (as opposed to a meeting deliberation), is the “advisor” identified as a minister, an elder, or other?

• What was the result? How did the minister respond? What form did the resolution take?

• Points ot interest or applicability for our time and practice? This is the whole purpose of the exercise, after all!

This series will be occasional — that is, I will write them up from time to time. I look forward to comments and replies, and also to suggestions for further use (or stories about how you have made use of the material).

Finally, if you have a story you’d like me to reflect on, OR if you would like to write up a case to post here as a guest blogger, please get in touch.

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