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|Format: DRM Protected ePub|
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2017
As a pastor, do you feel like youre wearing too many hats?
If youre a pastor, you know the tension of balancing (or trying to) the many roles and expectations that come with leading a church. But are you able to distinguish which roles are truly essential? And can you measure how youre fulfilling them?
Portraits of a Pastor features contributions from evangelical leaders like Jason Allen, Jared Wilson, Daniel Akin, and Owen Strachan on the essential roles and aspects of pastoral ministry. Together the book answers three important questions:
- What does it mean for the pastor to hold all nine roles?
- Why should the pastor fulfill these roles?
- How can the pastor most faithfully fulfill them?
A pastor must be a preacher, shepherd, missionary, evangelist, church historian, theologian, man of God, leader of his household, and leader of othersa tall order! After reading Portraits of a Pastor, youll:
- Have a clearer vision of the roles you should fulfill in the life of your congregation
- Be inspired to fulfill your calling by growing in new areas of leadership
- Know the unbiblical visions of pastoral leadership that may distract you from your core calling
Its true: much is demanded of pastors. But its also true that too much is demanded of most pastors. Know what God has called you to, how to fulfill that calling, and what may be distracting you from it.
Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Superb!March 6, 2018Jimmy ReaganLeesville, SCAge: 45-54Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Pastors, we need this book! The nine key roles of our work are beautifully discussed in this outstanding volume. By taking these nine traits we can re-calibrate to what the Lord intended us to be. All the things that are not on the list are almost as instructive as the nine that are. Pastors who have a different nine main spheres of work need to do some soul-searching. If that happens to be the case, this is the perfect book for you. Even if you already agree that these are the main nine areas of the ministry that God has given you, you have here the reminder you may be needing as well as the cheerleading to pick up the mantle of Gods design in a world of contrary voices.
Jason Allen is both the editor and one of the contributors. Danny Akin, Jason Duesing, Ronnie Floyd, Christian George, Owen Strachan, Don Whitney, Jared Wilson, and John Mark Yeats round out the list of contributors. Sometimes a book seems cobbled together when it is a group production. In this case, the work has been so beautifully edited that every chapter seamlessly connects with the others. My guess is that Mr. Allen pulled this off by assigning each contributor to his most passionate area. I repeatedly forgot as I read that the author of the chapter I was in was not the author of the chapter before.
Mr. Allen gives a brief introduction that describes the almost maddening situation that most pastors are thrown into. In other words, they are to fulfill more roles than any human being could. Its that very same cauldron that pulls them away from doing what theyre supposed to do.
I loved how chapter 1 that described a pastor as shepherd gave this simple outline of our work: 1) shepherds feed the sheep, 2) shepherds love the Lamb, and 3) shepherds trust the Good Shepherd. Wow! The next chapter discussed the pastor as husband and father. Many pastors fail in this area and this chapter was a superb antidote. Chapter 3 discussed the pastor as preacher and described our primary work as preaching. There was a strong plea for expository preaching here.
The next chapter was on the pastor as theologian. It looked back and reminded us of the place pastors once held in society, and even if that is no longer true it is still our task to be theologians. The next chapter was on the pastor as church historian and I assure you it will make sense once you read it. The following chapter on the pastor as evangelist powerfully challenged us to remember our obligation to the lost. There was a chapter on the pastor as missionary that reminds us of our need to help missionary efforts around the globe. You would expect the chapter on the pastor as a leader, as was the subject of the next chapter, but it was not the self-help type material that has flooded the market for the last 40 years. No, it looked at the need for us to lead in living out the Christian life. The final chapter on the pastor as the man of God, which is a term that has fallen out of use for some but will be appreciated in the context given here, again calls us to personal holiness and is a reminder of the big picture of what we do. Mr. Allen gives a fine conclusion that further ties together what we have just read.
This book is less than 200 pages, is easy-to-read, but dont let that fool you. It packs quite a punch! Every pastor would do well to grab and read this book.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255.
Justin Dilliplane5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: Portraits of a Pastor, by Jason K. AllenDecember 7, 2017Justin DilliplaneQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5`What is a pastor? What does he do? Is his job merely to get up in the pulpit and preach a sermon one to three times a week? In this book, Portraits of a Pastor, editor Jason Allen, along with eight other men, attempt to give the nine roles that a church leader should fill.
Jared Wilson writes of the role of shepherd. He believes that the role of the shepherd is the bare minimum role that a pastor should perform, as the word "pastor" is the equivalent of the word "shepherd."
Daniel Akin writes of the role of husband and father. He begins his chapter by saying, "I believe two of God's greatest gifts this side of heaven are marriage and family (33)." He encourages the pastor, and any man really, to love his wife and raise up his children.
Jason Allen writes of the role of preacher. He writes in his introduction, "I believe preaching is the pastor's preeminent responsibility (57)." He encourages the pastor to put out strong preaching straight from the Word of God
Owen Strachan writes of the role of theologian. Here, he focuses on the pastor's study of the Word. He encourages this study by saying, "The good news for us is that the good news works in us and through us (73)." The good news working in us is our personal study. It working through us is the teaching of that study.
Christian George writes of the role of church historian. He encourages the pastor to remember the past and take it with him into the future. Why does he encourage this? Because he believes that church history "encompasses the rest of [the disciplines of study]. Biblical studies, homiletics, philosophy, systematics, apologetics, counseling, and all other fields find their proper place beneath history's overarching reach (95)." No matter what, we cannot get away from the study of church history.
John Mark Yeats writes of the role of evangelist. The pastor must be reaching out to the local community. If he does not do this, the church will cease to grow. He must be telling all people about the good news of Jesus Christ.
Jason Duesing writes of the role of missionary. He encourages pastors to be "world Christians" and to push their congregations to be the same. Pastors must keep a global view of the ministry of God and stay involved with missions around the world.
Ronnie Floyd writes of the role of leader. He advocates that the pastor be part of a "brand;" something that gives him distinction in this world-- the brand of Jesus Christ.
Daniel Whitney writes of the role of man of God. He begins with a simple, yet profound statement: "Not every man of God is a pastor, but every pastor must be a man of God (161)." He also uses a very good illustration just a few sentences later: "Godliness is to the pastor what flight is to the eagle. Without personal godliness, the wings of pastoral ministry are broken (161)." Godliness is essential to every pastor's ministry.
Each of these writers, while having a different item to study, has the same purpose: to encourage pastors and to help them press on as better servants with a clearer vision of their role. Each role mentioned here is vitally important. Not one was explained in a weak manner. Having a different author for every chapter helped keep the roles strong. This is a very good book and helps pastors, especially new pastors, realize what role they need to fulfill. I give this book a rating of 5 stars out of 5.
JohnnyLafayette, TNAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5A Great Read for all PastorsOctober 18, 2017JohnnyLafayette, TNAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0When Thom Rainer says in the introduction of a book that it would be pastoral malpractice to not read a book, you read it. That book that he is referring to is Portraits 9780802416346of a Pastor: The 9 Essential Roles of a Church Leader, edited by Jason K. Allen and published by Moody Publishers. Jason K. Allen is the president of Midwestern Baptist Seminary where he has served since 2012. In bringing nine ministry leaders together to write individual essays in this book, he answers the questions of what a pastor is to be and do.
The first chapter was written by Jared C. Wilson, who holds several titles and responsibilities for Midwestern Baptist Seminary. He challenges the pastor to take up his role as a shepherd. I found the chapter challenging and comforting. Challenging in that he lays out in this chapter what a shepherd does and pretty much says that if you are not doing these things youre not just a poor shepherd, but youre not a shepherd. It is encouraging in that he reminds us that our righteousness is in Christ Jesus and not in ourselves. That was a blessed thought to me as sometimes I deal with insecurity in my own life.
Chapter 2 was penned by Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary since 2004 and Professor of Theology and Christian Preaching since 1999. He was given the task of speaking into the pastors heart concerning his role as husband and father. Akin grabs your heart when he poses this question on p. 40 of the book: Are you committed to making your wife a success, not in mans eyes, but in Gods? Have you determined that if you only shepherd one person in your entire ministry, it will be your wife? Then your children? Do you understand that shepherding begins in the home? I like that he just doesnt diagnose the problem, but he gives you practical steps to shepherd your family well. This was a very practical chapter.
Jason K Allen himself tackles the third essay in this book; his subject is the pastor as preacher. Although an entire book could be and has been written on this subject, he tackles this subject. He argues that preaching the Word is best done through biblical exposition, preaching where the sermon is driven by the text. Because this is such an exhaustive subject, I found myself wanting to hear more in this essay, but still he gives several tidbits of truth for you to chew on.
Owen D. Strachan is the Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of many books; his essay topic was the pastor as theologian. He begins his essay asking where the pastor fits in modern America? He points out that there are so many cultural tugs at the pastor to be something other than what God has called him to be. To do that he believes the pastor must be a theologian who finds the true source of his pastoral power in these days. Strachan takes the pastor back to his calling and all that truly entails: to the gospel and the joy to proclaim Christ no matter the cost and to Gods sovereignty, which will sustain the pastor when the gospel takes him into the lions den. Strachan finishes out his chapter with application for pastors to follow who wish to be faithful theologians. This essay made me stop, reread, and meditate as he showed how necessary this part of being a pastor truly is.
When I got to the fifth essay in this book written by Christian T. George on the pastor as church historian, I started reading it wondering why this even made the book. Church history, as I recall it, was nothing more than a bunch of dates and names to remember. George sucked me right in to his chapter, and I began repenting of my previous thoughts. His essay is full of tweet worthy quotes such as, Church history comes to life when we realize that we are the history of tomorrow or Every pastor must become a church historian because he is part of the history he is studying. Honestly this one chapter has made me want to pull out some biographies that have been collecting dust on my bookshelf or bring out Spurgeons sermons once again when Im studying a particular text. This essay is worth reading the book.
John Mark Yeats believes that it is time for a significant conversation to take place about pastors taking up their role as lead evangelists in their churches. Yes, the title of this essay is the Pastor as Evangelist. Serving as Dean of Midwestern College and Associate Professor of Church History at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and College, Yeats believes that church needs to turn from its come and see mentality and take up what the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20, Divine Mandate in Acts 1:6-8, and the Great Sending in Matthew 10 teach: all believers clearly need to go. The rest of this chapter has Yeats giving some practical ways to make evangelism great again in the local church. His contention is that the pastor should not only take the lead in this but should build an army of people with the same passion. Though this was not an exhaustive piece on evangelism, it was enough to cause you to go and dig in other places.
In the chapter entitled Pastor as Missionary, Jason G. Duesing answers the question as to whether the title missionary fits the work of the pastor as described in Acts 6:4 where the twelve saw their duty as focusing on prayer and preaching. Should the pastor add the title of missionary to his duties or could that be an outworking of the duties to which he is already focused on? Duesing is the the academic Provost and Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary & College. I will let you read the book to find his answer (its the latter). One of my favorite parts of his essay was his instruction on how to answer the critic who questions whether we should practice global mission efforts when there are many lost people so close to home. As a pastor I get this question quite a bit. I appreciate his reasons why we should. Overall this was once again a thought provoking chapter that would do well for pastors to read and consider.
Ronnie W. Floyd most certainly knows how to lead. He has successfully led Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas since 1986, lead the largest protestant denomination for two years as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, and has recently been chosen as the President of the National Day of Prayer. For those reasons he was given the task of writing the essay entitled Pastor as Leader. In this chapter he talks about the brand of the pastor which is the gospel. He gives this vital advice, You cannot let other people and what they say about you define. you. If you do, you will live a long and miserable life. He then spends the rest of his chapter giving you seven solid pieces of advice that every pastor would do well to heed.
Not every man of God is a pastor, but every pastor must be a man of God. That is how Donald S. Whitney, Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spirituality, started his essay entitled: Pastor as Man of of God. After showing that Man of God is an appropriate title for the pastor, he argues why the pastor should fulfill that title by actually becoming a man of God in practice. Taking from his years of meditating on this subject of how a person can grow in godliness, having authored the popular Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Whitney gives some very practical advice to the pastor as to how he can most faithfully be a man of God himself. Nobody, in my opinion, is more qualified to speak on this subject and Whitney doesnt fail to deliver.
No, this is not an exhaustive book on pastoring, but it does give you enough truth with each essay to meditate on and perhaps pursue further. This is the kind of book that a pastor should keep around and read again from time to time just to keep him on course. My book is filled with highlighted sections that I will return to and meditate upon. With that being said, this is a book worthy of the pastors library.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.