In spite of the criticisms of the role of the Protestant minister, the author, himself in the parish for more than two decades, believes something can be said for it that will attract the young man considering it as a vocational option, or comfort the middle-aged clergyman in his discouragement. Two purposes guide the writer: to show how the role of the minister looks to a beholder, and to show that the discomfort and irritation arising from that image can be put to positive use. The minister often is shaken by the discovery that the Christian community is not what he assumed when the ministry, in and to it, was described. The author points Out that these discouraging discoveries have parallels in other professions. The discussion helps to identify and bring out into the open a number of crucial issues confronting the Protestant clergy today. It gives what reassurance may be found Within the traditions that enshrine their office. It is not likely to encourage those members of the profession who ask whether that is enough, and whether a new, fresh, and more imaginative role definition is not possible. Epsecially for clergy and parishioners.