In the midst of reading a lot of leadership and preaching books this summer, this was a good break for me and a good one to work on my own heart as a pastor.
Jared walks through 1 Peter 5 and the passage written to elders and what it means to shepherd and lead your people. He does this really well in the first part of the book. The second part is where it drifts a little bit and moves into the 5 pillars of the Reformation. Now, the second part was just as helpful as the first part, but I found the first part to be more worthwhile to where I am personally right now and the idols that I tend to float to as a pastor.
Here are a few things that jumped out:
Very few people lose sleep over “the way church is going.” But the pastor does.
The laity starts Monday fresh, fill. The pastor starts Monday exhausted, empty.
It is devilishly easy for pastors to believe their own hype.
The primary problem in pastoral ministry, brother pastor, is not them. It’s you. You are your biggest problem.
Pastor, the people you currently have in your congregation are those whom God in his wisdom has dispensed to you. They might not be the people you’d handpick if you had your druthers, but be measured by the fact that God handpicked you to be a citizen in his kingdom.
Pastor, do not let your vision for the church you want get in the way of God’s vision for the church you actually have.
How we see God on Monday morning will affect whether we oversee his church willingly or under compulsion.
The minute I begin seeing God’s people as problems to be solved (or avoided) is the minute I’ve denied the heart of Christ.
Pastor, your platform is not your grounds for pastoral legitimacy. It’s the other way around. And you might be able to folio your readers or wider audience, but you won’t be able to fool your local church for long. And you will never be able to fool God. There will be a reckoning for “hired hands” who don’t feed his sheep.
Pastor, whatever you are, your church will eventually become.
Preaching is pastoring, pastoring isn’t preaching.
Lots of people can preach the gospel better than you; but nobody can preach a better gospel than you if yours is the true one.
A message of grace may attract people, but a culture of grace will keep them.
Our churches want their pastors to be like one of them, except when difficulty hits, and then they want them to be Obi Wan Kenobi.
God does not grant trouble without granting strength.
Rebuking heresy sounds so intolerant. And this is because it is.
Many local churches have ceased fishing for men and instead become keepers of the fish tank.
Putting scriptures in your sermon is not the same thing as preaching the scriptures.
Preaching and sharing the gospel is sometimes like tossing a ping-pong ball to a statue.
We are not charged with creating fruitfulness but preaching the word.
When a church is faithful to preach the gospel and demonstrate the gospel’s implications, it will usually find that it attracts and is attracted to the kind of people Jesus attracted and was attracted to.
The pastor’s commitment in the pulpit until the day he dies, then, out to be the theme of Christ’s redeeming love.
What you win them with is what you win them to.
We have to stop doing flashy things. Flashy things tend to burn out quickly.
Lots of pastor’s are kingdom minded until a new church plant starts near them.
If you are a pastor, this is a book worth reading this summer. Some good conviction and direction in it.
In many churches, not only is sin never mentioned – because it hurts people’s feelings or what have you – the cross is rarely mentioned. And when the cross is mentioned, because we don’t want to talk about sin, it becomes the great affirmation of our specialness rather than the great punishment for our unholiness. The cross becomes not the intersection of God’s justice and mercy but the symbol of God’s positive feelings about our undeniable lovability. -Jared Wilson, The Pastor’s Justification
The pastor can be the loneliest soul in the congregation, wandering out in the point man position, scoping the land for danger all by himself, yet always feeling the tug of those needing his attention on the back of his coat. The pastor is a multitasker not just of duties but of personalities and problems. Many Christians are focused on their own journey; the biblical pastor is too, but he’s also focused on yours. And his and hers and the next guy’s. In one day he might hold a dying woman’s hand, grive in the office with a couple on the verge of divorce, celebrate 100 days of sobriety with someone, and then go home and laugh with his wife and kids at a Munsters rerun. The pastor is ministerially multipolar.
The vantage point of pastoral ministry is a heavy and secret thing. Good pastors aren’t always spilling everybody else’s guts, so one hour he may be rushing out on a benevolence call on his day off, and the next hour hear from another the accusation that he is selfish.
The accuser knows nothing of the benevolence call, and the good pastor does not feel compelled to defend himself using it as evidence. He has his own perspective and trusts God will vindicate him in due time when all things are revealed. The recipient of the benevolence has his perspective too. And the next day he may be asking, “But what have you done for me lately?”
Sister serious is concerned about the way Sister Broken lets her son squirm during the worship service without disciplining him. But the pastor knows that Sister Broken is recovering from an abusive ex and is growing in Christ, and that to clamp down on her about her squirmy son at this point would risk further bruising a heart in need of healing. -John Newton (Found in The Pastor’s Justification)