Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity

by Rev. Eugene Peterson. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989.

The book is a complete commentary on the time-tested role of the pastor as a preacher, teacher, and one who attends to the care of souls. The author calls the attention of his fellow pastors to three basic acts--which he sees as the three angles of a triangle--that are so critical to the pastoral ministry that they determine the shape of everything else. The acts of prayer, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction, are acts of attention to God in three different contexts: oneself, the community of faith, and another person. Only by being attentive to these three critical acts, says Peterson, can pastors fulfill their prime responsibility of keeping the religious community attentive to God.


A thorough theological (yet accessible) reflection on the work of being a pastor; written from the author's experience; reflection on prayer, scripture, and giving spiritual direction

Best For

Best for clergy from the protestant tradition, applicable to many contexts


Purchase as a book or e-book

Suggested Uses

  • Make this book available to your clergy during a sabbatical or renewal program.
  • Offer to clergy who are in a vocational discernment phase of their call.

About the Contributor

Tim Shapiro

Tim Shapiro is the Indianapolis Center’s president. He began serving the Center in 2003 after 18 years in pastoral ministry. For 14 years, Tim served Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Prior to his pastorate at Westminster, he was pastor of Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Logansport, Indiana. He holds degrees from Purdue University and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Tim’s interest in how congregations learn to do new things is represented in his book How Your Congregation LearnsAfter his extensive work on the Center’s Sacred Space initiative, Tim co-authored the book Holy Places: Matching Sacred Space with Mission and MessageHe has also authored several articles, including Applying Positive Deviance and The Congregation of Theological Coherence.

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