The Resilient Pastor

Leading Your Church in a Rapidly Changing World

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How can pastors become resilient in a rapidly changing world? Is it possible to love well and lead faithfully? In the wake of crises that have exposed and accelerated massive cultural shifts, we see more clearly the seismic shifts of post-Christendom, the surging storms of a new paganism and pluralism, and the scattered debris of the cultural aftermath.

Drawing on new research from the Barna Group, Scripture, and church history, pastor, theologian, and researcher Glenn Packiam addresses some of the most pressing questions for today's leaders, including

- What is a pastor's calling and vocation?
- How do church leaders regain credibility in a disillusioned world?
- How do church leaders cultivate a deeper life with God?
- How do pastors develop meaningful relationships?
- Why does the church gather in worship? Does it still matter if we do?
- How do we actually make disciples in this new landscape?
- How can we face the challenges to unity presented by nationalism and racism?
- What is the church's mission in the world?
- How do we welcome the presence and power of God in our churches?

This book is for all who are burdened by the challenges facing the church as well as the turbulence of our times. With infographics, enlightening data, and insights from other ministry leaders, this book is the perfect resource for church leaders who want to cultivate resilience in their ministry today.


"This is a must-read for pastors and anyone who loves the church. In The Resilient Pastor we discover that leadership is not for the fainthearted in these turbulent times, yet there is great hope for the future of the church."

Christine Caine, founder of A21 and Propel Women

"If there's anything pastors and church leaders need in these bewildering days, it's resilience. In this volume, respected pastor Glenn Packiam shows us the way to resilience in every aspect of life and ministry. If you feel embattled or discouraged or exhausted, you will find words of hope in this book."

Dr. Russell Moore, director of the Public Theology Project at Christianity Today

"I rarely know what to do with religious statistics and trends, as they typically spell doom and are incapable of capturing the essential factor: God. However, Glenn Packiam, a faithful pastor rooted in Scripture and Spirit, starts in the necessary place: who we are before God and who God is long before us. With Glenn as our trustworthy guide, we can discern how we are to live in this anxious yet hopeful moment."

Winn Collier, pastor, founding director of The Eugene Peterson Center for Christian Imagination at Western Theological Seminary, and author of Love Big, Be Well and A Burning in My Bones

"It's not hyperbole to say that this moment in history is one of the most difficult times to be a pastor. Ever. The convergence of global crises, political animus, and worldly discipleship has caused pastors to question their vocation. Yet, this moment has given us the opportunity to reimagine pastoral ministry for a new generation, which is why I'm grateful for The Resilient Pastor. This book could not have come at a better time. With theological precision and robust sociological insight, Glenn Packiam offers pastors and churches a road map toward a much-needed resilience. This is a resource we all need to wrestle with together."

Rich Villodas, lead pastor of New Life Fellowship and author of The Deeply Formed Life

"A savvy politician once said, 'A crisis is a terrible thing to waste.' By many accounts, pastors are in crisis today, and a frightening number are ready to abandon their calling. While Glenn Packiam offers solace and encouragement to his beleaguered colleagues, he also recognizes an opportunity in the present pastoral crisis. It's a moment to reconsider what ministry and the church are supposed to be and how popular models may have led us astray. Are we really exhausted because of God's calling, or because of what we've assumed about God's calling? Aided by the latest research from Barna and a spectrum of wise contributing voices, The Resilient Pastor should be required reading not just for those in ministry but for anyone considering a pastoral calling. Don't waste the opportunity the current crisis has created--read this book!"

Skye Jethani, cohost of The Holy Post podcast and award-winning author of

"In our generation, pastors are leading through a precarious combination of challenges. Consumerism, individualism, secularization, and polarization are a cocktail of complexity and spiritual drain. Right now, pastors like myself are as disoriented and depleted as ever, which is why I absolutely devoured this book. With wisdom, winsomeness, and brilliant expertise, Glenn answers many of the questions I have been asking and provides many of the insights I have been craving. This book is an incredible resource for pastors, and it has come to us not a minute too soon."

Sharon Hodde Miller, teaching pastor at Bright City Church in Durham, North Carolina

"At peak moments of crisis, rays of light tend to come and break through the darkness. Now is such a moment of crisis for many pastors and ministers, and The Resilient Pastor is a ray of light, illuminating a healthier and more fruitful way forward for those called to lead and love in Jesus's name."

Mark Sayers, senior leader at Red Church, Melbourne, Australia, and author of a number of books, including Facing Leviathan and Reappearing Church

"One of the brightest and most thoughtful pastors in America turns his attention to one of the most pressing issues of our time, bringing seasoned wisdom to this cultural moment in which we find ourselves serving the Lord Jesus Christ and his people."

Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 Prayer International and author of How to Pray: A Simple Guide for Normal People

"All pastors need a trusted guide to lead us into an unknown future, and Glenn Packiam has earned the right to be that trusted guide. Glenn is a pastor, an academic, and an artist, and perhaps most importantly, Glenn has displayed phenomenal resilience in his own ministry. Because of Glenn's rare skill and experience, he has forged a helpful path for us in The Resilient Pastor. I commend this book to any pastor looking for a hopeful way forward."

Steve Cuss, pastor and author of Managing Leadership Anxiety

"For many of us pastors, the last few years we've grown profoundly weary in doing good. Dr. Glenn Packiam reframes the resiliency required to address the right challenges and seize the right opportunities so that we can prepare our hearts and minds for the redemptive potential before us."

Steve Carter, pastor, podcaster, and author of The Thing Beneath the Thing

"The high-profile falls of various Christian leaders in recent years have shown us something we should have already known--that ministry success should be measured not by the size of our churches but by the spiritual health of those leading them. I highly recommend Glenn Packiam's book. Leaders and lay people alike will find clarity, wisdom, and encouragement for navigating one of the most difficult moments in history to be a pastor."

Justin Brierley, host of Unbelievable? and Ask NT Wright Anything

The Author

  1. Glenn Packiam
    Parallel Media

    Glenn Packiam

    Glenn Packiam (DThM, Durham University) is associate senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and lead pastor of one of its eight congregations, New Life Downtown. A Senior Fellow at Barna Group, a visiting fellow at St. John's College at Durham...

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