Alejandro Field has released a new book. It’s called Pasteur Pasteur: Feed my sheep.
Recently, I met Alejandro to discuss his book.
When readers ask “what is your book about?” “They really want to know” how is this book going to solve a problem I have? how would you answer this question?
As we read the book, we find ourselves following the stories of two pastors over twenty-five years from their time shared in seminary through the rather dissimilar paths they take and the different crises they face. Their paths cross again in a surprise and emotional retreat for the pastors whom they share with many of their former seminary comrades. Each of the participants is confronted with his true vocation and most of them make radical changes from there.
At the same time, we share the experiences of those affected by the actions of these pastors. From the particular perspective of a couple who are friends with the two pastors, we see it from the bottom, so to speak, where many lives are affected in a positive but also, unfortunately, in a nefarious and destructive way. former church members have the chance to meet and share their experiences in a series of cathartic encounters.
The story is an interaction between the two groups with a common theme: A second chance. For the pastors, for the members still in the churches and the members who have left and especially for the relations between them.
An interesting aspect of the book is that while the backdrop is religious – people, places, events – it is also relevant to any group of people with their stories of ideals, ambition, manipulation, politics, etc. In the words of the back cover of the book, “much of what is happening relates to our common humanity.”
There are countless books on the subject that you have written about, what is unique about your book? How is it different from all the others?
In fact, I don’t believe there are many books on this subject at least in the format (novel) and perspective (bottom to top) of it. In Spanish at least, I don’t know of a full-fledged novel with a Christian background that carries a message that is just as relevant and applicable to the non-Christian world. Both in English and Spanish, which makes the treatment of the main theme of this book, i.e. the struggle of pastors with their vocation, the way they affect others and the relationship between the two groups, the view from below is unique. If we are honest, the vast majority of documents – books, video / audio messages, lectures, retreats – about the church in general and specifically about church members are written by pastors or leaders. I have always been an active lay / non-leading member of different churches throughout my life, so I believe I can legitimately offer the other side of church conflicts and failures with a specific burden to bring back a lot. of those who left the church in active and productive service.
What prompted you to write the book? Tell us a story behind the decision to take the time and effort to produce this book (which is no small task).
The original version in 2009 was boosted by a major secular novel competition in Argentina. At that time, I thought I needed to tell a story with a realistic, believable, and interesting context. I remember reading The Chosen by Chaim Potok with its Jewish background and realized that in the same way I had spent all my life in a church environment, so I used that to relate my story. I didn’t win the prize and kept the manuscript on the back burner.
I studied and read a lot about writing techniques and realized that a complete overhaul was needed. Upon entering our strict lockdown, I heard about a great Christian publisher that catered to new writers. As it is an American publisher, I decided to translate the book into English, since I am a translator. By going through the text meticulously, I drastically improved the storyline, characters, locations, descriptions, and the overall message. Then I saw that I could take advantage of this redesign of the novel to publish a version in Spanish with this same publisher. Eventually, both English and Spanish versions were released simultaneously in October 2020.
Give us 3 points you make in the book that would give readers an overview. Think of these 3 points as the trailer for your movie that will motivate people reading this interview to get the book.
The turbulent 1970s in Argentina, steeped in the violence of terrorists and the military dictatorship, are the backdrop for the seminar where a group of young people begin to develop their pastoral vocation.
While the vast majority of speakers, writers, lectures, books and other materials take the perspective of pastors and leaders, this book is primarily the view from below and proposes to work on a healthy and balanced relationship between leaders and church leaders.
Exhausted pastors and leaders and disillusioned members who left or were forced to leave the churches they loved and worked for so passionately for years. How to recover these treasures for the Kingdom?
What have been the biggest objections you have had to the book so far? And how do you respond to them?
One objection I received in the initial version was that there were too many hard characters to follow. I made a big effort in the new version last year to better define them, associate them with places, and refine the relationships between each in order to help the reader to follow them.
How can readers get the book?
The English and Spanish versions, in electronic or printed form, can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository and WestBow Press.
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