The following is a guest post written by Kyle Robertson from NetGalley in review of my new book “On Pastoring” published by Moody Publishers (Available June 7, 2016).
Pastor Charles has delivered a fascinating and well written book regarding pastoral ministry. I will begin by letting you know I am not a pastor. I work in the medical field, but I have served as a deacon in my church for the past two years. I try my best to encourage and support my pastor in his ministry and personal life, and I thought that reading this book might help give me a better insight and help me determine how I can serve my pastor and my church more effectively. A few months ago my pastor read me an article that was on Pastor Charles’s website. It ended with the line “As the old preachers used to say, good meat makes its own gravy”. So when my pastor told me that H. B. Charles had written this new book, I said “I bet there’s some good gravy in that one!”
H. B. Charles preached his first sermon when he was 11 years old. By his middle teen years he was preaching basically every week. When he was 16, his father died. A year and a half later, at the age of 17, he was elected to take over as pastor of his father’s church. H. B. Charles has been preaching and teaching all of his adult life. This puts him in a unique situation to advise other pastors on what it takes to build a successful pastoral ministry. His first pastorate was met with criticism and disdain from many church elders, but he soon realized that the congregation as a whole loved and accepted him. Through trial and error he persevered, relying on the Word of God, and continued to lead the church successfully.
Pastor Charles lets you know up front that this book is not a how-to guide for carrying out the various functions of pastoral ministry. Nor is it a theological reflection upon the essential nature of a pastor. He stressed that this book is more like a ministry compass to make sure the pastor reading it is heading in the right direction in their own pastoral ministry. The book is divided into three parts:
- 1) The Pastor’s Heart – Being a pastorwho is first and foremost a Christian.
- 2) The Pastor’s Leadership – Practical wisdom for leading your church with integrity, wisdom, and love.
- 3) The Pastor’s Public Ministry – Preaching, teaching, and the ministry of the pastor before God and his congregation.
This book is saturated with scripture. Pastor Charles uses scripture as a reference to reinforce the practical advice he is giving.
There is a wealth of information and wisdom in this book for new and seasoned pastors alike. I believe this is one of those books that you keep on your bookshelf and reference when you are in a slump or if a particular situation arises. The final chapter is really good, titled “Things I’ve Learned Along the Way: Tips, Truths, and principles gleaned from 25 years of pastoral ministry”. There is a section for further reading that contains recommended books and authors, and the appendix is packed with recommended books on theology, concordances, and commentaries. I would highly recommend this book to all pastors and to anyone that is involved with church ministry. I received this as a free ARC from Moody Publishers on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.