Despite efforts by conscientious and gifted educational institutions, ministers invariably discover in their first church that they still have a great deal to learn. The question they face is how they are to learn it. . . .
—from the foreword by Fisher Humphreys
After realizing that much of daily pastoral work can only be learned as ministers begin their first pastorate, Christopher M. Hamlin and Sarah Jackson Shelton decided to ask more than eighty of their colleagues what their churches had taught them. Their primary question was this: Could it be that the church, its people, and the life events experienced within the context of the faith community become the educational experiences that mold and shape ministers into pastors? Collected in The Teaching Church: Congregation as Mentor are the stories of the pastors who shared how congregations have shaped, nurtured, and, sometimes, broken their resolve to be faithful servants of God.