Many types of faith traditions face a similar challenge: a shortage of professional clergy, and faithful lay ministers who have not had the benefit of a seminary education. Some believe that the educational gap between clergy- and lay-leaders is troubling for the future of congregational ministry. Addressing this gap is the goal of Called and Chosen, a collection of thirteen essays edited by Regina Bechtle and Zeni Fox, who are Roman Catholic ministry practitioners, educators, and leaders. In the book, subject experts discuss relevant topics for lay ministers, including the relationship between leadership and spirituality, power and authority, contemporary culture, Bible, and theology. The book also features reflection questions, definitions of terms used, a detailed index, and brief biographies of the contributors. The perspective is Roman Catholic throughout; however, this book can be a helpful guide for others as they determine what educational material to offer to their lay ministers.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover