In our increasingly unchurched culture, wonderfully committed pastors are entering church ministry without significant background in the daily life and practices of the local church. With warmth and maturity, reflecting his years of pastoring and training pastors, Charlie Wingard provides this helpful primer on how to go about the care of souls, the duties of a pastor, and the loving rigors of organizing and leading local church practices, services, and people.
Charlie Wingard was my pastor during my seminary years. I learned from him then, and I am still learning from him today. This book is simply excellentextremely practical and exceedingly wise. The writing is clear, direct, and full of good sense, just as I would expect from Pastor Wingard.
Charlie Wingard is a pastors pastor. He understands the range of demands that insist upon his time and press upon his mind. He knows the degree to which a pastor must continually be growing in emotional, spiritual, and theological intelligence. He understands that to be useful, the pastor must love people and must highly prize the church of God while at the same time developing his own life with God. All this could easily overwhelm us, but Charlie helps us to negotiate these competing pressures and to emerge with an even stronger conviction that to be a minister of the gospel is the highest and noblest of callings.
This book is a treasure chest of wisdom from an experienced pastor. Charlies love for ministers evidences itself in these pages as he provides practical and godly advice. It will save many young pastors from unnecessary error and heartache; maybe more importantly, it will save the congregations they serve from the same things. As I read Help for the New Pastor, I found myself thinking, This is as close as one can get to sitting down with a friendly, older, wiser mentor and learning at his feet, without actually doing so in person. Take up and read, young pastors. You will find yourselves encouraged, stimulated, challenged, and equipped.
When I was ordained in my first call, I had an experienced pastor as my mentor. As I watched him handle the range of ministry in the life of our congregation, I gained wisdom and insight that Ive fallen back on time and again throughout my own ministerial life. For those who dont have the opportunity that I had, Charlie Wingards new book does nearly the same thing. Page after page, the young pastor receives sage advice from a more experienced pastor-educator about the kinds of opportunities and challenges that happen in small to medium-sized churches. Not only will you find help in these pages, but youll find renewed confidence and zeal for your gospel call!
A pastors first few years in the ministry are a bit like buttoning the first button of your shirt: if you get it right, everything that follows is more likely to line up properly; but if you get it wrong, moving forward will be much more difficult. For that reason, I was glad to read Help for the New Pastor. It is evident from the very first chapter that Wingard has trodden the path that the young pastor wishes to tread, and he is clearly a reliable and faithful guide. The advice you will find in these pages is biblical, solid, practical, comprehensive, and specific. I look forward to incorporating it into our churchs training program for young ministers.
Many ministries fail or receive fatal blows in their first year of ministry. Often its because of attempting too many things at once or failing to identify and do the basics of pastoral ministry. Thats where this book will prove uniquely useful to new pastors. It cuts through the fog and confusion of the early days in a new church and lasers in on what simply must be done and how to do it well. Its just been added to the required reading list of my Ministry and Leadership class.
Nothing is more valuable to seminarians and young pastors than sage advice from one who has faithfully labored for decades in the vineyard of the Lord. In Help for the New Pastor, Charlie Wingard provides it. In this succinct and highly accessible little volume, he dispenses a flood of practical wisdom for ministry. If you are preparing for the pastorate or just starting out, carefully read and apply this book. Your (future) congregation will be grateful.
As a young seminary student in the early 1990s, I was a member of the church in which Wingard pastored. I served as his secretary, taught Sunday school, and preached my very first sermon in that church. During those formative years, I watched him preach, teach, study, disciple, visit, evangelize, suffer for, and love an ever-growing congregation. The work was not flashy or fancy. There were no gimmicks or tricks. It was simple, solid, means-of-grace gospel work. If you are preparing for ministry, are in the early stages of your ministry, or need to rethink your priorities in ministry, this book will provide you with wise counsel for your own work. It is biblical, theological, and exceptionally practical. By the end of this book, you will likely count Wingard as your friend and partner in the great work of gospel ministry.
Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others, Otto von Bismarck once said. From the wealth of his own experience, Charlie Wingard has provided a valuable resource for the church, an eminently practical volume for those beginning in ministry. Whether you are just starting out, have some wounds that need healing, or want to reminisce about what you now know that you wish you had known when you were younger, pick up this book. Or, even better, give it to a new pastor.