06 December 2013

A Must Read for Pastors

By the providence of God I attended a pastor's retreat sponsored by my association of churches.  A pastor from a town about an hour away from where I live came and conducted the devotional times we shared together.  He over viewed some of the basic ideas in a book he gave to us provided by my denomination's North American Mission Board.  I just finished the book, of which I had not heard of, and I have been devastated by it.  The book is entitled Dangerous Calling (2012) and it's content hit me square between the eyes and cut me to my core.  I didn't just merely find myself tritely encouraged by it, but guilty through identification with much of it.  I must confess that I saw myself engaged in much of the behavior, attitude, and thinking described in it's pages.  It has worked a wonderful grief over my own pride within me.  For this I am grateful. 

The author, Paul David Tripp, of whom I know nothing about, writes from his own experience and candidness about the unique challenges of vocational ministry.  He has lived and thought deeply about the struggles with which pastors secretly wrestle.  He cuts right through to the reality and dangers of pride and duplicity in ministry and so many other issues that threaten to incapacitate a pastor from inside his own soul. 

To my pastor friends, I highly recommend Dangerous Calling to you.  Going into it, I didn't feel particularly overwhelmed by ministry or discouraged to the point of crisis, but while reading it I could see that I am standing too close to some dangerous cliffs.  If you are in a time of crisis in your ministry or marriage or both and you feel stuck, confused and angry, then get this book as quick as you can and move it to the top of your reading list.  Even if you feel like everything is going just fine, I believe God can use it to bring a fresh perspective to your calling that you may not even realize you need.           

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