We will write a custom Essay on “The Places You Go” a Book by Urias Beverly specifically for you
301 certified writers online
The most important insight that I got from the book “The Places you go” is that pastors should be flexible in both the way in which they deal with people and the means by which faith is administered. When I read through the various chapters, I thought that the three most poignant sections were those involving the hospital, the jail, and the funeral home.
As I read these chapters, I began to see that the environment in which a person is in greatly contributes to their emotional well being and general receptiveness towards their current situation. The problem really is that such places often contribute to negative feelings of hopelessness, despair, abandonment, and agony. From what I read, I learned that what is needed in such instances is not a preacher that spouts the word of God monotonously, instead, what is needed is someone that can sit down and just talk.
The book shows how merely talking, listening, and trying to understand a person has a profound effect on people and makes them more receptive to the word of God. For example, there are instances where a person is simply not receptive at all to what a pastor has to say as seen in the case of death row inmates or when a pastor is confronted with a family where one of their members recently committed suicide (Beverly 2003, 1-150).
Following church protocol and doctrine in such cases is ill-advised given the potential negative ramifications that may come about. Instead, what I learned is that pastors should attempt to develop a personal connection with the people that they are speaking to. They must understand the reasons behind certain events and help these people develop closure. It is not enough that a pastor preaches the word of God; rather, it is necessary for a pastor to attempt to implement some form of healing. When tragedy strikes or when someone is confronted with their impending death, it is usually the case that these individuals break down or keep the world at bay in order to wallow in their sorrows. From what I read in the book, this behavior is self-destructive and can often promote negative thoughts and feelings. A pastor can help such a person by relating to them, understanding the source of their problem, and using the word of God as a means of giving them comfort. Through the book, I developed the notion that doctrine and prayer are not what these types of people need. No amount of prayer and blessing on the part of the priest can help them get over their anguish. What they need is not someone who stands on a pulpit, nor a pastor that administers sacramental rights, instead, they need someone that is willing to be there to listen and to understand, in other words, what they need is a friend.
For quite some time pastors have always had the assumption that they are the leaders of God’s flock, that it is their duty to guide and help the sheep of the Almighty. Yet, based on what I have come to understand from reading “The Places you go”, this is an insufficient approach. In order to truly understand a congregation and to be able to relate and administer the proper type of ministry, it is important to be a good listener and an understanding friend. To merely preach on a pulpit is to separate one’s self from the flock, it is necessary to be among the sheep and get to know and understand who they are and how their problems came to be in order to truly become a proper minister of God.
Beverly, Urias. The Places you Go. New York: Abingdon Press, 2003.