OK… The legalese stuff up front… This e-book was given free of charge by the publisher in exchange for a book review. There is and was no expectation from either party that the complimentary material would be exchanged for a positive review–just and honest one. And that’s exactly what this review will be.
Now, with all of that said… Buy this book. If you are a pastor, in Christian leadership, have a pastor, know a pastor, want to become a pastor… If you are a Christian, you should have a pastor in your life, so you should read this book.
This book will probably be most beneficial to pastors. It’s basically a dissection of 1 Peter 5, and the qualifications of a pastor/elder. As such, it is very Biblical. Very. The author doesn’t stay constrained to 1 Peter 5, though. It carries a heavy dose of Biblical instruction and encouragement.
The book’s major premise is to lay the freedom of the pastorate singly on the gospel of Jesus Christ, just as our salvation and all blessings are. Pastors should know this. We really should. But the statistics in the introduction indicate that many of us don’t. The sense of burden that can so often become synonimous with ministry indicates that we forget. The sense of isolation and loneliness, depression, fatigue… The unBiblical sense that the health and success of the church depends on us… The unhealthy and detrimental feelings that those in the congregation are problems to be fixed, as opposed to people whom Jesus loves enough to have died for…
Yah. If you’re not a pastor, you’re shocked that pastors could feel any of this. If you are a pastor, you feel convicted that you’ve fallen into this at times and in seasons.
But we’re flawed people, members of that same congregation, who have been given the great privilege to under-shepherd a portion of Jesus flock. As members of that congregation, with one job among many to be done in that congregation, the same gospel applies to us. And that gospel is so momentous, so grand, so perfect and complete–it’s big enough even to cover the role, office and person of the pastor.
This book convicted me. It encouraged me. It reminded me and informed me. It was quite powerful, and I suspect that it will be again upon a planned reread.
So again… If you’re a pastor–especially a pastor who is dealing with any of the symptoms listed above–read this book. If you are on a support staff for pastors, please read this book. If you have a pastor, please read this book. If you are frustrated with your pastor, please read this book. He’s going through things that you have no idea about, and you’re probably giving him the short stick with all of your judgments.
If you don’t have a pastor, get one. Then read this book. Then buy it for him, tell him how much you appreciate him, and give it to him.
Ephesians says that pastor-teachers are a gift to the church. I am convinced this book is a gift to pastors.