Alan Oberdeck Books


Why I Wrote Pastor is Missing?

It is a Christian book in that it is based on the actions of Christian people. It depicts the
members of a fictional congregation, Shepherd of the Sheep Church, in the greater
Atlanta area as they go about their lives. It does not promote any specific doctrine, but it
does promote the spreading of the Gospel.
Why did you write “Pastor is Missing”?
I have been a Christian since I can remember. When I had polio it didn’t kill me,
therefore after Conformation I I decided I wanted to become a Lutheran Minister. I was
not a good student before I got polio, therefore I had to study hard to even consider going
to school to become a minister. The path to the Lutheran Ministry at that time was four
years in a Lutheran boarding school for high school (Concordia College High School),
two years in junior college and then four years at the seminary.
I had three years in a public high school and went to Concordia for my senior year
and graduated from Concordia high school, I then went back to Concordia for my
freshman college year. What the Lutheran Pastors ended up with was a classical
education involving the languages German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew. During the ten
years of education they had knowledge of three classical languages, German and of
course their native language of English. Had I followed the plan I would have had my
Latin and German basis done. As it was I had to catch up on my languages my senior
high school year. In my freshmen college year I was still taking German and Latin which
were hard because of my lack of background, but I was also taking Greek. It was the
Greek that finally got the best of me. My counselor encouraged me to spend an extra
year, just with the languages, but I chose to take a year off.
As it turned out God had other plans. I didn’t become a Lutheran Minister, but
my wife and I have always been very active in our church. We have been charter
members in three church startups, active in three more Mission congregations.
I have held the office of President of the congregation in several of the
congregations on many occasions. I have also held the office of Head Elder in these
congregations. I also have been close to a number of pastors and gone through their trials
and tribulations with them.
Have you relied on this background in your book?
With the fiction book “Pastor is Missing” I have tried my best to view the
congregation’s relationship to the pastor through the eyes of the congregation President,
Head Elder and the other board members. I have tried to illustrate what they were
thinking throughout the story.
How best to get into the mind of the pastor than through what he wrote in his
personal diary. In this book I have tried to contrast what the pastor was thinking with the
president’s memories of what was happing at the time.
What is the period when this was taking place?
The setting for this book is late 90’s to when the consensus among the protestant
community was “the way to spread the name of Jesus” was through church growth. I
wrote it from the perspective of the church President. I tried to get a balance between
church dogma and church practice, which to some is too liberal and to some too

conservative. I tried to show a dedicated, but frustrated pastor with a loving but dense
congregation members who didn’t get the message.
This book also mirrors how good intentioned church politics tends to work. All
of the church leaders are acting in good faith and yet not following the leader they called
to lead them.
How do you write your books?
With “Pastor is Missing” I had a story in my head as to where it started and where it
ended, but getting there was somewhat fluid. I began and then I played each character in
my mind and went with what each character would have done.
I also use readers and I wrote a chapter a week and sent them copies to read. For
this book I had as my reader’s three pastors and a lay person.

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