NALS Reads is about helping pastors and lay leaders to sharpen their theological saws for the sake of Christian ministry and witness. Not everyone can travel to take a class, so we’re bringing a class to you! 

Spring 2022 NALS Reads 

Join us for a five-part Zoom conversation on the last Tuesday of each month. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, March 29 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern). The discussion will be facilitated by the Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee on The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart and The Pastor in a Secular Age: Ministry to People Who No Longer Need It. Participants are asked to pick only one of the two books to read — ideas from both books will inform the group discussion. 
This is a free opportunity to sharpen your theological skills. Participants are only asked to provide their own book for discussion. Click here to register.


March 29, April 26, May 31, June 28, July 26  | 1-3PM ET

Reading Schedule: 

The Care of Souls (Senkbeil)
March 29 — Introduction and chapters 1–2
April 26 — Chapters 3–5
May 31 — Chapters 5–8
June 28 — Chapters 10–12
July 26 — Chapter 12 and Conclusion

The Pastor in a Secular Age (Root)
March 29 — Chapters 1–3
April 26 — Chapters 4–6
May 31 — Chapters 7–9
June 28 — Chapters 10–12
July 26 — Chapters 13–15


Free! And open to all interested NALC clergy and lay people. Click here to register.

Book Discussion:

Andrew Root, The Pastor in a Secular Age: Ministry to People Who No Longer Need a God | Participants must provide their own books for discussion.

Discussion Facilitator:

Rev. Dr. Maurice Lee

Pastors care for a soul in the way a doctor cares for a body. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.

Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice—born out of his five decades as a pastor—that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit.

In Faith Formation in a Secular Age, the first book in his Ministry in a Secular Age trilogy, Andrew Root offered an alternative take on the issue of youth drifting away from the church and articulated how faith can be formed in our secular age. In The Pastor in a Secular Age, Root explores how this secular age has impacted the identity and practice of the pastor, obscuring his or her core vocation: to call and assist others into the experience of ministry.

Using examples of pastors throughout history–from Augustine and Jonathan Edwards to Martin Luther King Jr. and Nadia Bolz-Weber–Root shows how pastors have both perpetuated and responded to our secular age. Root turns to Old Testament texts and to the theology of Robert Jenson to explain how pastors can regain the important role of attending to people’s experiences of divine action, offering a new vision for pastoral ministry today.

Maurice Lee is the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Santa Barbara, California, a lecturer in theology for the North American Lutheran Seminary, and a member of the North American Lutheran Church’s (NALC) Commission on Theology and Doctrine. He was educated at Wheaton College, the California Institute of Technology, Fuller Theological Seminary and Yale University, and did postdoctoral work at Harvard University and taught at Westmont College before becoming involved with the NALC. He lives with his family in Lompoc, California.