pastor__90940.1427839618.315.315Pastoral ministry I’m learning is difficult, painful, and blessed work. If that sounds contradictory it’s on purpose. While I’m not a pastor yet I am a pastor in training and am actively involved in serving in a wide variety of ministries at my local church. I’m also actively exploring pastoral positions. With that said pastoral ministry is difficult, demanding, and blessed work. Every pastor struggles with the demands of ministry, personal life, and the list goes on and on. The work of ministry is never done there is always more work to do than can be done in one lifetime. This is why Brian Croft’s new book The Pastor’s Ministry Biblical Priorities For Faithful Shepherds is so needed.

This book has three parts. In part one, the author looks at the foundation of pastoral ministry in three chapters. In chapter one, he looks at guarding the truth, then in chapter two preaching the Word, and praying for the flock. The emphasis in these chapters is on loving people with the Word. In my experience in seminary loving people with the Word is an often neglected aspect of training for future pastors. The truth of the matter though is loving people with the Word is the nuts and bolts of ministry. We’re called to love people and provide an example of the grace of God to the people of God. The reason we guard the truth, preach the Word, and pray for the flock is because we love God and one another. The author helps us understand these important truths in the first section.

In section two, the author helps readers understand the importance of setting an example, visiting the sick, comfort the grieving, and caring for widows. This is the real work of ministry. Here is where pastors build trust, strengthen relationships with parishioners, and love people with the love of Jesus.

Visiting people in the hospital and at home is a very important and needed aspect of ministry. One of my friends many years ago noticed our pastor coming and going from the hospital throughout the day while visiting a family member. He mentioned this to tell me how impressed he was and how it helped him to know how much our pastor loved the people in our church. This is what is so good about this particular section of the book—by setting a godly example for people to follow we are demonstrating that we are daily applying the gospel to our hearts and lives with the result that we will love the sick, comfort the grieving, and care for the widows. All of this builds to the final section of the book where the author looks at faithfulness in ministry through confronting sin, encouraging weaker sheep, and identifying and training future leaders.

The Pastor’s Ministry: Biblical Priorities For Faithful Shepherds should be required reading for every Bible college and seminary student looking to get into pastoral ministry. I highly recommend this excellent book and believe it will help seasoned, new, and future pastors to learn the biblical priorities of pastoral ministry.

I received this book for free from Zondervan Academic for this review. 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 Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”