Foundations: No.76 Spring 2019

Book Reviews

The Pastor's Soul: The Call and Care of an Undershepherd

Brian Croft & Jim Savastio, Evangelical Press, 2018, 100pp, £7.71 (Amazon) / £5.26 (Kindle)

From the Reformed Baptist stable, this book is written by two American pastors, both based in Louisville, Kentucky. Brian is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church and Senior Fellow of the Mathena Centre for Church Revitalization at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jim is one of the pastors at the Reformed Baptist Church in Louisville. Both are very much involved in Practical Shepherding, a Gospel-driven resource centre for pastors and church leaders to equip them in the practical matters of pastoral ministry. The book has grown out of this work and is a helpful contribution to thinking about the practical side of Christian ministry in the twenty-first century. It is in four parts, alternating sections being written by the two men.

Jim starts by looking at the biblical commands to a pastor – taking heed to oneself, to doctrine, to the flock – and why these matter. Brian then contributes a section on the need for every minister to be converted and called.

In part three Jim has two chapters on the public and private means of grace. Brian’s last section deals with six important topics with regard to the pastor’s wellbeing – eating, sleeping, exercise, friendship, silence and rest (including his day off, his holidays and having sabbaticals).

I recall hearing Joel Beeke say that a pastor should read at least one of these sorts of books every year. If you are a pastor, we commend this little book for your perusal. Dr Beeke also said at that time (with tongue in cheek) that you cannot follow everything recommended in such books as there are not enough hours in the day! That is probably true of this volume, although it tries hard not to be prescriptive. Few will agree with everything that is said here but it will stimulate thought on these important subjects. It would make a great book for a ministers’ fraternal to discuss.

Gary Brady
Pastor, Childs Hill Baptist Church, London

 

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