Pastoring the pastor.
Tim Cooper & Kelvin Gardiner
208 pages, £7.99
Star rating: 3 stars
There seems to be a growing awareness of the need for ‘pastoring pastors’. That need arises from the way in which pastors are frequently viewed these days.
Some church members seem to view us as expendable, some view us as a necessary nuisance, and some are only happy with us when we are doing whatever it is that they want us to do! Instead of accepting the pastor as leader in the congregation, whose appointment is from God (who is sovereign in ALL things, after all), and as someone whose ministry should be supported with love and care (Hebrews 13:17), he is often viewed as being someone ‘doing a job’. He is frequently not allowed to lead. If he does take the lead some members even leave to go and follow their way. This is dangerous. We seem to be back in the days of the Judges, ‘everyone did what was right in their own eyes’ (Judges 21:25). This has resulted in burn out and fall out. The pastor is often no longer one of the church family, but is treated as a hired man. This is a sad and erroneous view, created by applying the world’s expectations to the church situation. This creates even more need for the pastor to be pastored.
I wouldn’t put the book on my ‘must have’ list – although I would encourage people to read it. It will help members to understand more of the mind and life of a pastor. It will help pastors realise, as they recognise issues that come up, that others have been there before them, and that there are answers to all the issues we face – with God’s help.
Pastors should buy their own copy, and members their own. If it is given as a gift the recipients might imagine relationship problems where there are none! That said, it is a worthwhile book for today’s situation. It takes an unusual approach in its presentation, and is a book I am glad I have read.
Rev Dominic Stockford,