Saturday, November 7, 2015

A book for seminarians who aspire to be pastors

I saw the title and I was intrigued. The Secret Life of a Pastor (and other intimate letters on ministry) sounded like something up my alley. I'm a bivocational pastor, and this book looked like an expos√©, a confession of sorts, about the challenges and joys of being a pastor. As I opened the book, I was a little disappointed. Rather than finding pages of personal anecdotes, I found instead a series of letters from a pastor and seminary professor to his students. Perhaps they should have dropped the words "secret" and "intimate." Or maybe I should have just read the back cover ;-).

My disappointment was due to my misplaced expectations about the subject matter. After getting over that, I found the book full of practical guidance and reminders about what pastoral ministry is all about. It was very encouraging, and I expect that it will be helpful to the book's target audience: young seminarians who aspire to become vocational ministers at the conclusion of their studies. Pastoring is not just about preaching sermons and teaching Sunday school lessons. Pastoring is a relational job. It can become overwhelming, especially for young guys who've been sheltered from "normal life" living on a Christian campus for a few years. Men with experience who take time to write books like this are needed and welcome. Transitioning from student to pastor can be bumpy and fraught with failure for those who don't have good, godly men speaking into their lives. This book helps those seminarians wade into the responsibility of being a pastor.

I received this book from the publisher for the purpose of providing this review.

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