Practicing Christian Patience

Encouraging Community, Establishing Peace

Jeffrey L Bullock

Apr/2014, 112 Pages, PAPER, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819229083



• A fresh approach to church life and ecclesial health

• Addresses the concerns of leadership in challenging times

• Includes questions for reflection and study by individuals and groups

Patience may be the least understood and least practiced of the Christian virtues—and yet patience may be the most important virtue to today’s church, the virtue that can underpin our most faithful longing. Building on a theological, biblical, and historical foundation, the author lays out a case for patience as a distinctly Christian practice. Patience subverts the cycle of crisis and fear that shapes so much of our culture. Patience understands that urgency and haste are hallmarks of the secular world, not the church. Patience and attending to the Other, whether divine or human, is a modern day cornerstone of justice, holding us together in a timeless bond.

The author, a scholar and minister, has long wrestled with the notion that the church has to get out there and sell itself. In this book, he offers patience as an alternative way to address current issues and church growth.

AUDIENCE: For church leaders and clergy, plus members of the denominational judicatory, including archdeacons and bishops.

Jeffrey L Bullock, DMin, DD, has served in parish ministry for over thirty-two years and is a consultant, educator, and retreat leader, specializing in parish development. He is a fellow of the Seminary of the Southwest, a Lilly fellow, and a pastor/theologian for the Center of Theological Inquiry. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

“Jeff Bullock here introduces us to one of the classic virtues—one mostly ignored by modern Christians and the Church. He gives us the story of 'patience' in the story of the church—digging back to the early apostolic fathers of the church. His quest? To help us understand in our time what Christian patience means in actual practice. He describes the centrality of God's patience in our own salvation and also to the meaning of the cross. He concludes with three moving scenes of patience actually working in the heart of the church.”
—Loren B. Mead, founder of the Alban Institute, and author of The Once and Future Church

“Jeff Bullock’s historically rich and culturally broad perspective on patience will be a source of valuable reflection for those whose circumstances demand that strenuous practice. Distinguishing Christian patience from the pale resignation with which it is often confused, he inspires readers to recognize the power and beauty of this undersung virtue.”
—Marilyn McEntyre, author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies and What’s in a Phrase?

“I worry now about formation in our church. In order to share that which transforms us, we have to know what transforms us. In order to share our faith, we have to know it, feel it, practice it, reveal it in our lives. This is a remarkable book that takes up just one of the "fruit of the spirit" patience. It is a deep, thoughtful, and caring look at a most often misunderstood charism for Christians. Knowing Jeffrey Bullock, I can truthfully say there is no one who more, knows patience, feels it, practices it, reveals it in his life. Reading this book was a tremendous gift to me, may it be one for you too. “
—The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, Bishop of Olympia

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