What is the Pastor’s Ministry?

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I mean, really. What is the Pastor’s Ministry? Have you ever stopped to think about it? Pastors and non-pastors alike have formulated an idea over time that may or may not be biblical, depending on both past and current experiences.

The question has been around since Acts chapter six when the Greeks thought that the apostles were neglecting their widows. The Greeks assumed that a portion of the pastor’s “job” included taking care of the increasing number of widows in a new-born mega-church. We’ve got the answer to the question. It’s interspersed throughout the New Testament. Now, thanks to Brian Croft in his latest super-practical guide, The Pastor’s Ministry, we’ve got a well-rounded and doctrinally sound overview of God’s intended ministry of a local church pastor.
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Croft, the Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky and founder of the ministry Practical Shepherding is the author of numerous books including, The Pastor’s Family. The thing is, he’s not just one of those pastors who seems to churn out books based on either other sermon series that gets preached. He’s a pastor’s pastor whose ministry extends well beyond his pulpit. He’s a pastor who trains pastors, while giving practical advice to young men in the ministry. He’s an Apollos to aspiring Pauls and a Paul to the next batch of Timothys and Tituses.
Over the years I’ve benefited from his ministry by following his blog, and now I’ve got a resource in his latest work that I’m sure will help me in the years to come.
What is the Pastor’s Ministry unpacks the scriptures so that pastors can “understand what God is truly asking of you and where He wants your time to be spent.” It helps to clearly lay out priorities that the Lord has already set for every pastor. Some are given: Preach the word, pray for the flock, confront sin. Others have been neglected over time: visit the sick, identify and train leaders. Throughout the book, Croft stays firmly in his wheel house. He gives practical teaching and suggestions that answer many questions that young or inexperienced pastors may be embarrassed to ask others. But, he doesn’t only speak to young or inexperienced pastors. There’s enough meat in The Pastor’s Ministry to satisfy the most seasoned men of God.
In the section on visiting the sick Croft writes, “It is only after we’ve given thoughtful consideration about what we should ask that we should proceed. Here is a progression that has proven helpful for me. Ask the sick about themselves, their condition, and the kind of recommended treatment. Ask about their family, specifically in regard to who has been caring for them during this time. Then try to turn the conversation to one of a spiritual nature. A helpful way to do this is ask how you can pray for them. The Holy Spirit will open up opportunities through this question to talk about eternal issues. However, our questions are meant to lead us to talk about God and the hope found only in Christ. This is our hope, whether a person is sick or healthy.”
My two favorite lines in all the book were written for the Twitter age, but should stand the test of time in the years to come. They are simple yet profound. Again, in the section dealing with visiting the sick he reminds us, “When the gospel is prayed, the gospel is heard.” In an admonition to pastors to not neglect the good news of salvation, he writes, “Don’t assume the gospel; preach it regularly.” Good, simple, solid advice for any pastor.
My recommendation is also simple. If you know a young pastor, invest in him by buying him this book and praying for his ministry. If you are a pastor training young pastors, buy them this book and adopt it as part of your regular discipleship with them.
In closing, a quick word of thanks goes to Zondervan Publishing for providing me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.
About the Author

Michael Andrzejewski

Michael Andrzejewski is a missionary in western Europe who loves to share his stories. An introvert by nature, he swims upstream while struggling to pastor cross-culturally. Passionate about both the Gospel and football, he constantly searches for really good sushi.

  • Pedro Andrade

    Só tenho um pedido a fazer: escreve também em português…
    Até percebo o que tu escreves e porque escreves na tua língua materna, mas sinto que não apanho na íntegra as ideias dos teus textos, e não quero perder uma que seja. As tuas ideias (e eu conheço a Fonte) são preciosas!!!

    • O meu grande amigo, o teu pedido está registado. Se eventualmente eu puder arranjar tempo, para fazer isto, diz-me como devo entregar-te os artigos. Não é que não gostava de fazer, mas não está muito fácil. Não prometo nada além de tentar.