A great little book on a vital subject. It comes in two halves. The first contains the author’s own thoughts on the subject, comprising seven pithy but structured chapters covering the basics for an introduction to a life of ministry.
The second half has four ‘appendices’, the bulk of which consist of Spurgeon’s ‘The minister’s self-watch’ and an address by B. B. Warfield to theological students. There is also a list of books to read at the outset of ministry and a simple pattern for sermon preparation.
These two halves provide a happy balance between new and old; practical and devotional; punchy and meditative.
The strength of this book is its brevity. It can be read quickly, but it covers a lot of ground in a short space. It will help earnest candidates for ministry to assess their call and consider the best way forward. One might have wished for a little more emphasis on the role of the local church in that initial process, but the book is not intended to be exhaustive.
It will also help pastors give guidance to aspiring young men and could even be used as a basis for mutual discussion. Some of the practical pointers in the chapter on ‘Staying fresh’, and the devotional material towards the end, are relevant for those who have been in the work for many years.