There are so many resources for pastoral ministry that it is hard if not impossible to wade through all of them. But pastoral ministry is so crucial for the life and calling of the church. Micah Fries and Jeremy Maxfield have set out to give us a fresh, biblical approach to ministry in the church and the role of church leader and congregation.
The premise is that church leaders and ministers are not in “full-time” ministry anymore than anyone else in the church. It is the responsibility of the church to serve and to minister to the body. This can be difficult for pastors/elders to grasp, as it is easy to want to handle it all on our own. And it is difficult for members to grasp because we look to the pastor/elder as the spiritual “professional.” But this book follows the reasoning that:
Scripture seems to indicate that church leaders are not called primarily to do ministry themselves as much as they are called to prepare and deploy the church to do ministry.Page 11
This book will probably flip your traditional view for the better in regards to ministry. It is split into two parts. The first looks at rethinking leadership and the number of ways that our current culture pushes against the biblical model by focusing on materialism, professionalism, and independence. These cultural values can create roadblocks for us that blind us to God’s value and purpose for ministry. The second part gives us several biblical models, such as Paul, Moses, and Jesus Himself to cast a new vision for leadership and ministry in the church. Each of these examples give different but necessary insights into what it means to do ministry.
I really do think this book is crucial for both church leaders and “laypeople.” It speaks into the necessity for all to do ministry together. Maturity takes place as each of us is serving and growing together. If one person (the pastor/church leader), or only a select few, are doing a majority of the work in the church, then how will we all grow more in Christ and learn to serve and love as He did? Our church culture has ingrained us to view this differently, to simply “go to church” to be fed and leave, as opposed to leading a life of ministry as a child of God and seeking to serve the body of Christ, whether an official church leader or not.
Grab this book to be challenged in your ministry and service for Christ and the world. “Full-time” pastors and elders need this for their congregations, to learn to give away their ministry to others. And “laypeople” need this for their pastors/elders, to take the load from their backs and to be encouraged to serve alongside each other as the body of Christ.
*This book was graciously provided by Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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