Friday, October 26, 2012

Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, by Paul David Tripp

Overview (from Goodreads): After traveling the world for many years and speaking at hundreds of churches of all kinds, Paul David Tripp is concerned about the state of pastoral culture. He is not only concerned about the spiritual life of the pastor, but with the very people who train him, call him, relate to him, and restore him if necessary. Dangerous Calling reveals the truth that the culture surrounding our pastors is spiritually unhealthy--an environment that actively undermines the well being and efficacy of our church leaders and thus the entire church body. Here is a book that both diagnoses and offers cures for issues that impact every member and church leader, and gives solid strategies for fighting the war that rages not only in the momentous moments of ministry, but also in the mundane day-by-day life of every pastor.

Review:  Excellent book. Profound in its message; simple (in a great way) in its delivery. The author is a great example of how you can write with wisdom about a complex issue and be readable —easy to understand and comprehend, which makes the message stronger.

Now, this is a book targeted at pastors, and it certainly is a must for every pastor. But Mr. Tripp has done such an amazing job here that not only should it be required reading for every pastor, seminary student, minister and church leader, it should also be a must read for every Christian. Here's why: How many of us put our pastors on a pedestal, like they can't do wrong? How many of us are hard on our pastors, never showing mercy or grace when we think they fail or have done wrong? This book lays a pastor's heart wide open for all to see. We see his struggles, challenges, fears, sin, his strength in God and the hope in His grace, which lead us to very specific issues for which to pray for our pastors, elders and other church leaders. We learn what we already know but don't really realize: pastors are like the rest of us —same struggles, same fears, just maybe on a greater scale. Once we realize that, we'll see our pastors in a new perspective and we will pray more efficiently for them.

Also, this book helped me look deeper into my own heart, motivations and attitude towards myself, others and God and His Word. It's a wonderful call to attention to that which I desperately need to change, and a great call to arms to change it in God's strength and by His grace.

Mr. Tripp draws from his own experiences as well as the experiences of pastors close to him, and I'm sure pastors and church leaders everywhere will identify with them and receive the much needed pastoring that the author knows they lack. This is an insight into pastors' lives and hearts, a mirror; a great way for seminary students to learn what being a pastor really is, and a wonderful way for the rest of us to understand our leaders better and to grow in the Lord.

5 out of 5 stars

*I received a copy of this book from Crossway through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

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