Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the excellent book on ministry, On Being a Pastor.
Service, not dominion is a minister’s calling.
When our tongues let us down, it is because we have not first watched over our hearts and thoughts.
As shepherds and teachers we should stand out as those who love what is good (Titus 1:8). Our approach to life is to be essentially positive. We know that we live in God’s world, and that all his gifts are good; it is man’s abuse of God’s gifts that is the problem, not the gifts themselves. Whether it is a matter of sport, or what is on television, we are to love what is good and to set an example in this respect.
A principle temptation in the ministry is to be carried along by its sheer busyness to the neglect of prayer.
The principal part of our pastoral care [prayer] is unseen by those who benefit from it, since it is exercised in secret
Throughout the book the authors emphasize that prayer is the primary form of pastoral care we exercise over the flock.
The mark of a good teacher is that what is difficult and complicated becomes simple to understand.
After expounding truth, it is vital to apply is so that the hearers go away with an awareness of what the verse or passage has to say to them in their immediate situation and how they may be doers of God’s Word.
All for whom we care should be aware that we are in the same battle, and that we speak not as professional Christians but as members with them of God’s family. Just as it is of immeasurable comfort to know that our Great High Priest was tested in every way as we are-although He, uniquely without sin-it is an encouragement to the flock to know that undershepherds are made of the same stuff as themselves.
We all need something of interest, totally distinct from our work, to which we can turn our minds for rest and relaxation.
This last quote comes from their chapter titled Family and Leisure. It was a well-balanced and helpful section of the book. I found it interesting that Derek Prime, who ministered in England, got four consecutive weeks of vacation or as they call it over there “holiday.”
We [pastors] should be outstanding for conveying our convictions without heat or animosity.
The trials of ministry require two virtues in particular: patience and self-control.