Book Review: On Being a Pastor

On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and WorkOn Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work by Derek J. Prime
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I almost gave this five stars. It is one of the best introductions to ministry in the 21st Century that I have read. Several things set this book apart from others.

First, you have two men from two different eras giving practical advice on shepherding. You get a lot of “I did it this way.” Followed by the other man saying, “But I did this way.” By setting the book up this way the reader gets a lot of specifics, but none of them are presented as “this is the way it has to be done.” The reader is thus left to sift, sort, and apply what he can to his own situation. Tons of practical suggestions without setting down a bunch of laws.

Second, they cover a lot of ground. There are your typical chapters on preaching and prayer. But there are also chapters on leadership, delegation, family, two chapters on pastoral care, and a wonderful closing chapter on the perils of ministry. The delegation chapter was one of the most practical in the book with a lot of food for thought on a subject commonly ignored in books on ministry.

Third, the entire book focuses on the holiness of the minister. From how to handle interaction with women to mistakes to Bible reading to prayer to visitation the reader is reminded that pastors must be holy.

The only weak chapter was the one on worship. The best chapter was the one on prayer.

I would highly recommend this book for all ministers, elders, and ministers in training.

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