Shepherding The Pastor

Being fresh out of seminary or Bible college and heading into full-time ministry is a steep learning curve. That’s possibly one of the reasons for the training model that I was trained in which puts an emphasis on working in the local church whilst studying at seminary to give you the practical outworking of theology on the ground. Even after that training, starting as a Pastor in a church will always be a learning curve. What do you change? How quickly should things change? Where do you focus your attention first? The list of questions could go on. Here’s something that I think will help.

In this book you have two authors, Phil Newton and Rich Shadden, each of them is a Pastor and each of them know the difficulties and challenges of starting out in ministry. Both men would see the immense benefit of pastoral mentorship and learning from older, more experienced people. But this book isn’t a ‘how to’ on ministry mentoring, it’s not a strategy manual on being a Pastor either, it’s a bit like a conversation between one young Pastor and his Pastoral mentor.

I enjoyed how the book was set up and the pattern that each chapter follows;

  • Rich (young Pastor) brings a challenges that he faced early on in ministry.
  • Phil (older Pastor) responds with advice that he gave Rich and would give others in a similar situation.
  • Rich speaks about how he implemented Phil’s advice and how it changed his ministry style/pattern.
  • Phil recommends some ‘next steps’ for those in a similar situation.
  • They both highlight additional resources that can help the reader think through the topic more and the applications / solutions of the issue.

There are plenty of different topics covered in the book like; visiting the sick, interviewing, how quick you should be (or not be) to make changed, knowing when to leave and much more.

The difference about this book and other books on the same topic is that this book brings out the emotional impact and support that mentorship can bring if it’s done well.

The book is split into 4 parts;

  • Sent out
  • The beginning years
  • The tumultuous years
  • The fruitful years

If I was recommending a book to a guy in seminary who was on his way to being a Pastor, this is definitely one of the books that I would recommend. It is written with younger Pastors in mind, but I think that many older Pastors would benefit from it two, for two reasons; 1) it highlights the role that they can play in training and coming alongside younger men in ministry, and 2) it can highlight some of the areas in their life / ministry where they may need to be shaken up a little if they’ve become stuck in their ways (which isn’t always necessarily a bad thing).

Get your own copy here and see the benefit of having an older, or younger, brother in ministry to draw alongside to teach and to learn from.

*** I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not change the way I rate the book. My views are my own. ***

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