Review: The Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry

The Pastor's Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and MinistryThe Pastor’s Justification: Applying the Work of Christ in Your Life and Ministry by Jared C. Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an overall good book. Wilson is readable and relatable, maybe those are the same. His background and journey may not resonate with all, but I think his primary aim was to help pastors apply the Gospel to their own hearts and ministries. This book can be helpful, but you probably need a few bruises to appreciate it.

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Review: The Trellis and the Vine

The Trellis and the VineThe Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Disciples of Jesus make disciples of Jesus, who in turn make disciples of Jesus. I think you see where this is going. What is a church? A church is a called out assembly of disciples joined together in making other disciples. More could be said, but this is vital. Pastors make disciples but are also tasked with training disciples to make other disciples, and so on. This is the Gospel work churches are called to do. It’s so easy to get off point and begin to be about many other things.

I wish I had read this book years ago. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. This is what pastors and church members are to be about.

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Review: More Faithful Service

More Faithful ServiceMore Faithful Service by Albert Mohler Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This short book is a helpful study in the pastoral ministry. Each chapter is contributed by a different author. It is more of a workbook with area for your notes and answering questions. The layout is done well and it’s overall useful. The study is divided into three parts pertaining to pastoral ministry–faithfulness, persistence, and excellence.

Don’t let the apparent simplicity fool you. It is worth working through.

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Review: Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition

Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging ExpositionPreaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition by Hersheal York
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is divided into three parts: The Text, The Sermon, and Delivery. Part I was the strongest. Part II started with an explanation of the trademarked Decker Grid System for building sermons that felt like quite a departure from Part I, though getting past that, there was definitely good material. Part III was about delivering sermons so the focus was on effective communication. Some of the psychology stuff got in the way, but it helped me think about different aspects of delivering a sermon and connecting with an audience.

Overall, it is not an exhaustive treatment, nor was it intended to be. The book covers a good bit of ground from studying the text, to building the sermon, to delivering the sermon. Throughout I was challenged to think about my own ministry and examine deficient areas in my own preaching. I’m thankful for the book and recommend it as worth reading.

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Review: The Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family Through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry

The Pastor's Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral MinistryThe Pastor’s Family: Shepherding Your Family through the Challenges of Pastoral Ministry by Brian Croft
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure how the tag team effort was going to work out in this book. However, it worked well. I appreciated reading both perspectives on the same subject. When it comes to books on the home, they vary on their helpfulness. The Bible does give sufficient instruction for us in our homes, but the market is crowded by a lot of extrapolation and thrice-removed opinions about the Bible actually requires of us. We have to sift the counsel we receive. Are we having burdens heaped upon us like an overloaded mule, or are we receiving counsel from someone with a healthy dose of what you call horse sense?

I think Croft is doing the latter in this book, which makes it a helpful book. He does deal with texts and calls out some of the neglect pastors can be guilty of, which is sinful. He rightly calls us to repentance in these. He also gives wise counsel that we should receive with discernment. For instance, he encourages a father to engage in one-on-one discipleship of his children. He may not be in chapter and verse territory, but he is giving good counsel.

I also appreciated how he dealt openly with the abysmal family legacies of some of the “heroes” of the faith that exalt so much. I was personally disappointed a few years ago reading about the marriage and home life of George Whitefield. Whitefield is one of the men Croft writes about. We need to be cautious is vaunting the men of the past. There are both good and bad examples in history. Can we really call a man “successful” in ministry who neglected his family all the while?

This is a great book for pastors and pastors’ wives.

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