Ten Quotes: The New Pastor’s Handbook by Jason Helopoulos

I was pleasantly surprised by Jason Helopoulos book, The New Pastor’s Handbook. As I read, I was encouraged and convicted in numerous areas. The book fills a niche in our culture by having short chapters, tons of practical advice, covering a lot of topics, and focusing on new pastors, thus avoiding repetition of more well known works, such as John Piper’s Brothers, We are Not Professionals. Here are ten of my favorite quotes from the book.

As undershepherds of his great flock, we care for his sheep by feeding them the Word; it is the very core and heartbeat of the calling on our lives. 

There will be weeks, months, and perhaps even years when the average church planter wonders what he has gotten into; in those moments perseverance matters a great deal. It can be the difference between a successful and an unsuccessful church plant. [The book has a chapter on church planting which was helpful for me as a church planter. P.J.]

Ministry, like baseball, is quite simple. It is nothing more than loving Christ, loving his people, and loving the Word. That is it.

As we seek to love his people, we bring this Word to bear on their souls for the glory of God. We have no greater gift to offer those under our care, for nothing can minister to them like the Word of God.

Apart from knowledge of the Word, we have no competence in the ministry.

It is a foolish pastor who forsakes shepherding his own family in the name of shepherding the church.

Our calling is a holy calling. If holiness does not mark us, then we should not be surprised when it does not mark our churches. There are few things more important in the life of the church than the holiness of its pastors.

A faithful pastor will build his ministry on the Word, prayer, and the sacraments. He will not deviate to gimmicks or the latest fads.

Administration creep occurs subtly and easily. We can go through a day of ministry answering emails, returning phone calls, and organizing policies with very little personal ministry taking place. A week can pass in this way, and all of the sudden we realize we have devoted more time to administration than to studying the Word of God, praying, and meeting with people. Our pervasive administrative duties have encroached on our time and taken over.

We need fewer aspiring conference speakers and more faithful pastors committed to their local churches. 

And One:

I try to remind myself of two things every day before I pursue the pastoral work set before me. First, I labor by the financial tithes of God’s people. Therefore, I must strive to honor their sacrifice. Second, I remind myself that I fight in battle every day…(Col. 1:25-26). That is my task. I am engaged vocationally in holy warfare every day. Since no day in the pastorate approaches triviality, I am not allowed to “go through the motions.” 

Quotes from Other Books
On Being a Pastor by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg
How to Exasperate Your Wife by Douglas Wilson
The Things of Earth by Joe Rigney
A Son for Glory by Toby Sumpter 
Escape from Reason by Francis Schaeffer
Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
Making Gay Okay by Robert Reilly 
Christ Crucified by Donald Macleod
Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God by John Calvin

Book Review: The New Pastor’s Handbook

The New Pastor's Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of MinistryThe New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry by Jason Helopoulos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is not Bridges’ Christian Ministry, Baxter’s Reformed Pastor or Piper’s Brothers We are Not Professionals. But what it aims to do it does very, very well: introducing new pastors or pastors to be to the nuts and bolts of pastoral ministry from candidating to hospital visitation.

Several things set this book apart.
First, the chapters are short. Thus the book is accessible.

Second, he covers a large amount of ground without getting bogged down. It is a flyover, but a good one.

Third, he is realistic, but encouraging. I get the sense that the author has been in a lot of different church situations. He has a realistic perspective on ministry. But he does not make it sound like drudgery.

Finally, he is clear and practical without being too specific.

This is an excellent book for any new pastor or ministerial student.

I was provided this book free of charge for review by Bakerbooks. I was not obligated to provide a positive review.

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