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David R. Bess
2 Stars Out Of 5
January 4, 2003
David R. Bess
I must say I was disappointed after reading this book. I have seen my own life and the lives of many church members transformed by Blackaby's "Experiencing God" material. Based upon the book jacket comments, I had hoped this volume would have similar significance for pastors particularly. I was mistaken.First, the majority of this work is written not by Henry Blackaby, but by Henry Brandt. Blackaby follows Brandt's chapters, giving his own thoughts on the material Brandt has covered. Brandt is solid biblically and theologically, but he simply isn't Blackaby.Second, the title of this book is misleading -- "God's Standards for Christian Leaders" would have been much more accurate. There are four sections presented by Brandt and Blackaby: God's standard for your calling, God's standard for your message, God's standard for your heart, and God's standard for your ministry.Third, this volume does NOT focus upon the unique calling and experience of pastors. The book jacket states, "God Himself is the power in the pastor and the Christian leader's call! Pastors spend their days -- and often their nights -- ministering to others. But who ministers to pastors? God does!" The sections listed in the previous paragraph of this review are addressed to Christian leaders in general, not pastors in particular. While a few comments are made that focus on pastors, the vast majority of the content could apply to anyone serving in a Christian ministry.This book isn't bad; it is just entirely different than the work described on its jacket. If you want a book written by Henry Brandt describing God's standards for Christian leaders in general, with comments interjected by Henry Blackaby, then buy this one. If you want a volume directed specifically to pastors describing the power of God's call to ministry, then look elsewhere.
This is one powerful book. Both Henrys have some very valuable lessons in their writings. Truth that many people are afraid to talk about today. They give very clear insight on the fact that Jesus Christ is the answer for all of man's problems, while we are trying to humanize the gospel. Plus, as a pastor it assures them that I'm doing the right things when most of Christianity is telling me your wrong.
Our Pastor Search Committee found Henry's book to be an excellent tool in helping us identify God's choice as our pastor. Henry's approach is always God-focused rather than man-focused. Man will look for a specific skill set - God looks for character & the heart.