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.
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