Phil A. NewtonKregel Academic / 2021 / Trade PaperbackOur Price$17.995 out of 5 stars for 40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry. View reviews of this product. 4 Reviews
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conradeVancouver, BCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Practical Reference for Pastoral MinistryMarch 16, 2021conradeVancouver, BCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4What is a pastor? What do pastors do? What does it take to remain spiritually healthy? How could pastors lead the Church? How do pastors handle conflict? What do pastors do when expectations clash? What about discouragement? How do pastors conduct marriages, funerals, and other landmark rituals? Why should pastors aim for long pastorates? These questions and many more are covered in this comprehensive volume of advice for pastors present and future, young and old. Written in an easy to reference Question-and-Answer format, author and pastor Phil Newton shares from his over 40 years of pastoral experience about what a pastor is, what it takes to develop a pastor's health, some key practices, the ministry of preaching, Church leadership, and many more matters related to the pastoral ministry. Burdened for the pastoral ministry, Newton shares his conviction that any pastoral ministry must stem from the foundation of God's Word, with appropriate reflection theologically, and applied contextually to the modern Church environment. He writes this book even as he deals with chemotherapy challenges. The questions mainly provide a framework for issues commonly faced by pastors. In five sections, he gives answers to 40 of the most important questions with regard to pastoral ministry. The questions are categorized as follows:
- Foundational Considerations (Q1-5)
- Pastoral Development and Health (Q6-13)
- Pastoral Practices (Q14-20)
- Pastoral Preaching (Q21-28)
- The Church and Pastoral Ministry (Q29-40)
The "Foundational Considerations" focus on the character qualities needed in any pastor. The "Pastoral Development and Health" looks at what it takes to finish the marathon calling of pastoral ministry. The "Pastoral Practices" provides the hows and whys of Church ministry. The "Pastoral Preaching" deals with the all-important topic of preaching. The section on "The Church and Pastoral Ministry" looks at the relationship between the pastor and the Church.
Who should read this book? Obviously, the first group would be pastors or anyone desiring the office of a pastor. Pastors are expected to understand the needs of the parishioners. Who could understand pastors' needs? Apart from the pastoral community, not many outsiders could appreciate the unique challenges of ministry work. This book comes from a pastor who sincerely wants to help fellow pastors through the challenging journey of the pastorate. In an age where the average life span of a pastor is five years or less, there is a need to address any underlying challenges that might diminish the joy of pastoral work. While it is often easy to point a finger at the unfair expectations from the outside, what matters more is the lack of resilience inside the pastor. Books like this would be an asset to help pastors discern their calling regularly and to avoid premature termination of one's time in office. At the same time, it enables one to grow in determination to finish the race well and strong. We need more pastors, not less. We need to encourage those who are already in ministry and not wait until it is too late. Maybe, to add into the mix, those praying for or working as sidekicks to pastors might benefit from reading this book so as to offer support to their pastors.
Second, for the highly opinionated reader, I would advise them to focus less on the specifics but more on the principles of ministry. it is easy to become distracted by semantics or areas that conflict with one's convictions. For example, the author is convinced that the pastoral office is given to men, and thus writes with direct references to men as pastors. Having said that, he affirms the hugely critical roles of women in the Church. In our increasingly egalitarian climate, it is easy to become distracted by the author's complementarian convictions. This is what I propose. Regardless of your views about women in ministry, remove the gender references and just focus on the main issues with regard to the common challenges of pastoral ministry. Honestly, the challenges are often targeted more at the office rather than gender. In other words, don't throw out the book on the basis of differences over any one issue.
Finally, for prospective pastors to be, note that the pastoral ministry is a calling and not everyone is called into this office. While books like this might excite and inspire one to become a pastor, not everyone keen could enter this vocation. They must be called. The most knowledgeable person is not necessarily the most suitable candidate. The most suitable candidate might not be willing. The best candidate might not even be accepted by the hiring organization for various reasons. In fact, there are many tests within this book to help sieve our best intentions into fantasy and reality. For instance, the danger of ignoring one's personal holiness can be spiritually deadly. Sometimes, pastors can be so sucked into the work that they missed out on the simple need for daily devotions or the cultivation of one's spirituality with the Lord. We can claim to serve and serve, but once we lose the intimacy with God, our ministry unravels quickly. The questions pertaining to relationships and leadership are crucial to the survival of any pastor. That should test one's willingness to go through the crucible of intense scrutiny or even unwitting suffering. Of course, while there is much wisdom with regard to the nitty-gritty of pastoral work, there are other important considerations that are missed out, such as ethnic ministries; multi-cultural and inter-generational challenges, etc. For that to happen, this book would probably require additional chapters that deal with such topics.
Phil A. Newton (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) is senior pastor at South Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. His previous books include The Way of Faith and Elders in Congregational Life.
Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.
This book has been provided courtesy of Kregel Academic without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.
PV5 Stars Out Of 5Helpful Book for Those in Pastoral MinistryMarch 11, 2021PVQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Newton breaks his book up into five sections: Foundational Considerations, Pastoral Development and Health, Pastoral Practices, Pastoral Preaching, and The Church and Pastoral Ministry. In his first section he defines what is meant by pastor and gives some guidelines for qualities which are essential for those seeking to go into pastoral ministry. He then moves to exploring ways a pastor should care for their own emotional and spiritual wellbeing in the next section. The final three sections provide frameworks for questions about a variety of situations a pastor may find themselves in, such as meetings, mentoring, sermon prep, weddings, funerals, and making changes.
The over forty years of pastoral ministry experience which Newton has shines through in the answers which he provides. He shares real life examples which wonderfully illustrate the principles he is sharing and the lessons which he has learned. Each chapter is a quick read and includes practical steps and guidelines which a pastor could easily apply to their own situation or follow as they find themselves in similar situations. There is also a summary paragraph which can be turned to when a quick answer is needed and a series of questions which help the reader apply the principles provided in the chapter to their own unique situation.
Newton shares his wisdom in a manner which does not elevate himself or leave the reader wishing they were as knowledgeable or capable as he is, but the reader puts down the book feeling equipped and encouraged in their ministry. This encouragement comes from Newton's constant returning to Scripture and reminding the reader of what Christ has done and how He continues to equip them through the Holy Spirit. Newton does not minimize the weightiness and high calling of ministry, but He reminds the reader that they do not go through ministry alone.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is in pastoral ministry, whether they have been in ministry for a long time or they are just beginning. While this book does not answer every question which someone in pastoral ministry may have, it provides a framework which they can use and truths they can remind themselves of.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Kregel Academic through their blogger review program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255
Dr DaveWilliston, FLAge: Over 65Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Ministry PrimerMarch 6, 2021Dr DaveWilliston, FLAge: Over 65Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5It goes without saying that the job of a pastor is one of the most demanding positions. It may not be from a physical aspect, but surely from an emotional one. Shepherding the spiritual life of a congregation is a whirlwind of emotional highs and lows often within a microcosm of time.
And, of course, there is a large quantity of written material that attempts to be instructive for every situation. Some achieve the desired goal, some do not. So what would make another volume worthwhile? The answer is "practicality." Enter 40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry.
This volume follows sixteen previous like-formatted ones in the 40 Questions series published by Kregel Academic. All the books follow the same arrangement - forty questions that are divided into categories with similar content.
This volume was written by Phil A. Newton who has been in pastoral ministry for more than forty years. Newton shares his lifetime of ministry experience in a most down-to-earth manner. There are no hypothetical situations. It is all pragmatic advice covering five areas of pastoral ministry to include health, practice, preaching and church relations.
There is no "getting around" 40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry if one is a pastor, wants to be a pastor or knows a pastor. It should be destined for a multitude of bookshelves.
MichaelIndian Trail, NCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent Insights On Pastoral MinistryFebruary 10, 2021MichaelIndian Trail, NCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"40 Questions About Pastoral Ministry" is an excellent read on various aspects of Christian pastoral ministry. Around 300 pages, the book is composed of (as the title suggests) 40 questions on ministry topics as: the pastor's spiritual and physical health, preaching, pastoral practices, the church, and many other topics.
Each chapter is around 8 pages or so and is typically presented as follows: the question, spiritual and practical suggestions and insights about the question being addressed, and end of chapter reflection questions.
Some of the things I really liked about the book:
- Very readable with a good balance of spiritual and practical insights based on the experiences of the author's several years of pastoral ministry and the experiences of others.
- Very relevant topics applicable to the church and society.
- Full of biblical references for the question being addressed.
- Smooth flow from topic to topic.
- Comprehensive bibliography and scripture index.
- While labeled as an academic book, the title is very readable and understandable for those inside and outside academics.
- Well organized and very informative.
The book is an appropriate read for the new or seasoned pastor, teacher, church leader, or anyone in a leadership position wanting to lead and serve with a Christian worldview. I was given a review copy by Kregel Academic in exchange for a fair review and appreciate the opportunity. Recommended.
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