Over at 9marks, I have a review up of a new book that should prove helpful for many pastors. Here is a little snippet:
About five months in to becoming a pastor, I remember running into a seminary acquaintance at a conference. We had shared a few classes together, and were catching up with small-talk. He also asked what it was like to be a pastor—a question on the mind of many a seminarian. His facial expressions and tone communicated a sense of curiosity and wonder, like a wide-eyed soldier in boot-camp asking a veteran soldier what combat was like.
I replied that I was enjoying the pastorate, and that I had learned many things but was learning still more. I mentioned the surprises, challenges, and encouragements. Yet one can only say so much in five minutes.
His curiosity is common, I believe, to many who consider entering the ministry. We need advice on how to prepare. We want to know what the day-to-day experience of a pastor is like. We want to hear details, even if they are bad, so that we can mentally rehearse in our minds how we’d respond in certain situations. We want practical guidance, theological instruction, and biblical wisdom poured into us so that we might be “equipped for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:12). In short, we want to be able to ask lots of questions and receive lots of answers.
Jason Helopoulos’ new book, The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry, in a sense, fulfills this desire. His book is like having the opportunity to sit down with an experienced pastor, ask any ministry related question, and receive a sound, concise answer.
You can read the rest here.