How many of you care for your Pastor? How many of you regularly tell your Pastor that you appreciate his ministry and that you’re praying for him and his family?
Let me tell you a little secret… ministry, pastoral work, is hard!
Being a Pastor is difficult, and if I’m being perfectly honest, not many people understand why. As a Pastor you’re always in preparation for that sermon, that Bible study, that one to one or for that pastoral visit. On top of all that your Pastor is also praying for the whole church, trying to understand where people are at, trying to get to know everyone, being hospitable, worrying and thinking about how everyone is doing all of the time. Pastoral ministry is no 9 to 5 job, there is no such thing as a work life balance and you cannot leave your work at the office.
There’s a very little snippet into the very hard, but very very joyful, life of a Pastor.
So often, as church members, we expect our Pastor to care for us, but Christopher Ash has written a fantastic book about how church members can care for their Pastor.
The book your pastor wishes you would read (but is too embarrassed to ask) is a tremendous book written by Christopher Ash who has been a Pastor, the Director of Cornhill which teaches people how to communicate God’s Word and a church member. Over the years I have read some of Christopher’s books and listened to many of his sermons and seminars about ministry. But this book is different.
I have never read or seen a book that is entirely focused on how church members can care for, love well and encourage their Pastor. Some of the things in the book are so obvious that you might not even think that they matter and some of them might never come to mind if you don’t read this book.
Ash starts off by helping the reader think about how your Pastor is a normal person, they have a past that shapes who they are and that they have their own character and style. As obvious as this may sound, I’m not sure that people fully grasp this. Too often Pastors can be elevated and be seen as almost perfect human beings, but that is not true and it is actually quite dangerous. Pastors, like everyone else, are normal human being who have weaknesses and who fail, elevating them above who they actually are can be dangerous because people can be tempted to build a whole ministry around them. This almost always goes wrong.
Ash then goes through seven virtues of church members that impact our Pastors. The following chapters are very challenging both for the church member (and for the Pastor), they speak about attitudes to God’s Word, to church and prayer meeting attendance, to conversations with the Pastor and they speak about how to submit to the Pastor and his leadership.
This is a tremendous book (with a very cool cover) and I honestly think that if every church member read it then our churches would be healthier, our Pastors would love their work all the more and together we would all be better worshipper of God.
This book comes out on the 1st of May, it is currently on reduced on The Good Book Company website for £5.09, why not pre-order a few copies and meet with a smaller group of member in your church and discover together how you can care more for your Pastor.
As a Pastor, I would be hugely encouraged if people bought and read this book, as a church member I look forward to implementing what I have learned in this book and as a Christian I am so thankful for the Pastors who have taught me over the years. This resource helps us understand how we can best show our appreciation to the men that God has put in positions of leadership in the Church.
Christopher Ash has been a pastor, and is now an author and writer-in-residence at Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was Director of the Proclamation Trust’s Cornhill Training Course from 2004-2015. He is married to Carolyn and they have four children and five grandchildren.