I was delighted that Christopher Ashs new book unpacks the overlooked exhortation of Hebrews 13 v 17, namely, that it is the responsibility of the sheep to make the shepherd's work a joy and not a burden. Christopher lays out seven ways to do so. I know of no other book like thisit is a "charge to the congregation" that is more specific and practical than anything else you will find in print.
Too many pastors today are discouraged, isolated, and weary, and it shows in the alarming rate of drop-out from pastoral ministry. In this book, Christopher Ash has pooled his extensive experience and wisdom to produce a book that could help make a real difference. If church members and leadership teams can read this book, we could help more pastors persevere and thrive in their ministry to us.
A wonderfully encouraging, challenging, wise and readable book. It contains so many obvious truths that can be so easy to forgetpastors are people too; pastors need encouraging; the best way to encourage your pastor is to live wholeheartedly for Jesus. Christopher Ash has condensed a lifetime of ministry and training ministers into an immensely helpful book. It is not only a book your pastor wishes you would read, but this pastors wife highly recommends it too. If you want your pastor to serve joyfully and faithfully to the end, read this book and put it into practice!
We greatly appreciate this important and timely book. Church members (with their complex lives) and their pastors (with their different backgrounds and circumstances) are partners in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ at a time of growing hostility to the Christian faith. How can this relationship be joyful, godly, and good? This little book is full of biblical wisdom and practical counsel about how church members and pastors should relate to and encourage one another as together they grow in Christ. A book to be widely read and sharedfor the good health of our churches.
Whose job is it to care for the senior minister, pastor or vicar? Their wives (if theyre married)? Their colleagues? The local Presbytery or area Bishop? While each of these may have a role to play, the Bible is clear that it's actually the church family who have the main responsibility of supporting, encouraging and praying for their leaders. My observation over the years is that some churches are doing this well but others are not. Some energise their leaders very successfully but others suck the life out of them! So how are we to encourage our church leaders and make their work a joy rather than a burden? With clarity and insight, Christopher shows us what we should be doing and why it's in our best interests to do so!
We found this book both practical and encouraging. Its relaxed conversational style makes it easy to read. The challenges that pastors face, and that we face in being faithful Christians as part of a local church, are clearly explained and explored. There is no doubt that those who read this will be strengthened in their discipleship, and their pastor hugely encouraged.
Christopher Ash captures the biblical vision of the relationship between the pastor and the church beautifully in this short, readable and immensely helpful book. The blend of clear teaching, rich wisdom and his experience both as a pastor and a church member gives every page real authenticity. We were challenged and encouraged afresh to have soft hearts and to engage humbly and wholeheartedly in our local church family, and cannot think of anyone who wouldnt be helped and challenged by reading this book.
Christophers usual clear teaching is shared through countless stories and illustrations from ministers lives. He tackles a vital subject we often skirt around, and earths it with practical ideas, questions and prayers. Find someone not too embarrassed to promote it in your church!
This book needed to be written, and I am so glad that Christopher has taken up the challenge. As he rightly notes, pastors are people toofeeble and flawedand we have all heard stories of pastors burning out and falling into sin. Christopher helps us to see the vital role churches play in lovingly encouraging and supporting their pastors. All of us will do well to heed the wise biblical counsel of this brief book. Our pastors will be better for itand so will our churches.
We know that pastors care for the church, but who cares for pastors? The church does! Let Christopher Ash introduce you to a new category: caring for your pastor so your pastor can happily care for you.
Pastors are undeniably influential in Gods churches: discouraged and dysfunctional pastors often result in discouraged and dysfunctional churchesBUT pastors (and their families) who enjoy the loving support of their churches will be so much more able to keep prayerfully teaching Gods Word over many yearsto continue equipping his people faithfully for the ministries that will grow his church to joyful maturity in Christ and leading them boldly in his mission to make disciples of all nations for him! So Im hugely grateful for this vital and vibrant little tonic for maintaining healthy relationships between pastors and their congregations. With his customary penetrating biblical insight, pastoral compassion and clarity of expression, Christopher Ash has given us a richly enjoyable mix of gentle church membership training with compassionate church leadership coaching. I will be thoroughly commending it to all the congregations of our church-planting network and especially their lay leadership teams. (I also hope the Governing Elders of my church will read itbut I still feel a bit embarrassed to ask.)
This book will help you have the mindset of Christ which swaps the question, How is my pastor meeting my needs? for, How could I better serve my pastor?
Christopher Ash has served churches well for decades now, at Cornhill, in a local church, through his writings (how about that Job commentary?!). Now he provides a most unusual service. A modern take on an old formthe Church Member's HandbookChristopher has asked the simple question, "How can I love and serve my pastor, in a way that will do him, his family and our church good?" The answer is straightforward, biblical and life-giving. Careful and loving, this in fact IS a book your pastor wishes you would read (but we ARE too embarrassed to ask you). Thanks, Christopher!
Why not order a few copies and meet with a smaller group of member in your church and discover together how you can care more for your Pastor.
In the short time it will take to read this book, a radical shift may well take placea shift in orientation from asking How is my pastor doing in meeting my needs? to How am I doing in caring for my pastor?
The shepherd tends the flockwe get thatbut whoever thought of the flock looking after the shepherd! Christopher Ash has and, with his usual clarity and kindness, shows us what that means and why it matters.
We expect pastors to read quite a lotof Scripture, and of books that help them understand and explain Scriptureso that they become better able to meet us in our need. The book you are holding in your hands is not one of those books. Rather, it is a book to help church members understand Scripture better so that they become better able to meet pastors in their need. After all, don't you want their work to be a joy, not a burden (Hebrews 13:17)a joy and not a burden both to them and to the sheep in their flock? I wonder how much the fruitful and happy functioning of a local church turns on believers who are grateful encouragers of their pastors, prayerful warriors who draw out from their under-shepherd the very best he can give them!
Where do you get lay leaders and people who know how to pastor their pastor and (in doing so) make him a better pastor? You could wait for them to miraculously appear (and I've had my share) or give out this book in great quantities. It comes from a pastor who understands the pulpit and the pew and who wonderfully reflects the grace of the Chief Pastor, Jesus Christ. This is a book that will make pastors weep for joy that someone understands and will make people wise for action of the most useful kind.We loved it.
Christopher Ash has an extraordinary ability to identify books which need to be written and then write them! This book shows his usual deft ability to combine Biblical truth, pastoral relevance, contemporary experience, personal insight, practical advice, deep honesty, and loving admonition and encouragement. We all need Biblical encouragement, and this will help people provide their ministers with much-needed support and encouragement. Praise God for this useful book!
Christopher Ash has a special knack of putting his finger on the sensitive nerve-endings of churches and their pastors. This book is no exception. It contains the wise fruit of many years of church membership and a wide knowledge of ministers and their ministry. If we will "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" these pages, both our churches and our ministers will be healthier and happier. Here is a book to be read by the leadership of every Christian fellowship!
The best thing about this book is that it will make your church "do church" better. Christophers penetrating insights from Scripture into community life will raise the bar for all Christians. We cant wait for our whole church to read this!