De-Sizing the Church (pt 3): What Eugene Peterson Is Still Teaching Us About Pastoral Ministry, with Winn Collier (Ep 071)

A conversation with Eugene Peterson's biographer on how simple pastoral presence is the healthy alternative to Christian celebrity.

Of all the famous pastors of the last 40 years, Eugene Peterson might be the one that sought the spotlight the least. In this episode, I talk with Peterson’s biographer, Winn Collier about the places where Winn’s book, A Burning in My Bones: The Authorized Biography of Eugene H. Peterson, Translator of The Message, overlaps with my book, De-sizing the Church.

We talk about how Winn was entrusted to write Peterson’s authorized bio, why people (especially pastors) are still fascinated by Peterson’s writings, his life, and the way he pastored. Then we narrow in on how Peterson accurately, but fairly critiqued the church growth movement and our obsession with bigness.

We also get into several parts of Peterson’s life and ministry that didn’t fit into De-sizing the Church, including:

  • How Peterson’s life connected with people even deeper than his writings did
  • The importance of pastoral presence
  • How Peterson pushed back against our size obsession and the institutionalism of a business-centered approach to church growth
  • The importance of those inefficient hours in a pastor’s life and schedule
  • And more

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Composed and performed by Jack Wilkins |


by Solomon Joy

Shelley Vaters |


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