Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: On Being A Pastor

As you'll know by now, I have recently been appointed as the new Rector of Aghavea in County Fermanagh. As I was preparing for my interview in front of the Board of Nomination (at which there were 11 people scrutinising me!), I thought it useful to return to a book I had previously read not long before starting at Theological College all those years ago.

On Being A Pastor is a joint work by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg, building on an earlier and shorter book by Derek Prime, entitled Pastors and Teachers. In fourteen chapters, they discuss various important aspects of life and ministry that impact on those involved in the regular pastor-teacher ministry (however defined or described). Topics covered include the call and calling; life and character; goals and priorities; prayer' devotional life; study; preaching; pastoral care; conduct of worship; leadership; delegation; family and leisure; and the perils of ministry.

In each chapter there is sound biblical teaching on the particular area in focus, illustrated and expanded through their extensive experience in their own ministries. While writing as a pair, on occasion there are sections written by one or other as they talk about how they have found things, and in sharing wise advice they have received.

While this may be particularly useful for those thinking about ministry or just starting out, perhaps as part of a one-to-one or small ministry group, there will be much of value for all involved in word ministry and the leadership in congregations. I've certainly found it useful in reminding me of the priorities and best practice to establish as I begin my new ministry in rural Fermanagh. Oh for the grace to carry it out, and learn from these godly pastors!

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