Tag Archives: Pastoral Training

Book Review: Am I Called?

Book Review: Am I Called? by Dave Harveyamicalled_header

The Good:

You Talking to Me. What an easy read. Seriously, it is like having a conversation with the author. I’m a big fan of books that are written in a laid-back conversational style. If I read a book about pastoral calling, I would hope it would speak to me. Well, the author’s style does just that – it is like you are being counseled in the chair across from him, and he speaks right to you and your heart.

Dry as a bone. For those that know me, I enjoy dry humor. And this book caused me to laugh out loud at times with the witty jabs that you almost miss, but add life to the book. These little comments and stories provide great flavor to a very meaty subject.

Paging all church search committees. This isn’t just a book for those seeking confirmation of the call, but can be highly useful for pastoral search committees and church boards establishing their philosophy of ministry. What a lesson on the requirements of a pastor, in behavior, practice, and lifestyle. Before writing a job description, you might want to read this book.

The Bad:

Better Sooner than Later. Seriously, this may sound sappy, but the only bad thing about this book is that I did not read it sooner. It satisfied the reader’s longing to understand and confirm the calling. It answers the question “Am I Called” to completion, with great detail, confidence, and sound doctrine.

The Grade: A. Got someone interested in ministry? Put this book in their hands. Think about it. We are talking about the calling to lead the body of Christ…the bride of the Savior of the world. Before any seminary applications, job interviews, internships…read this book. Start here. Seriously, it puts the pastoral call to the test.   Better to test your calling with a hot chocolate, bedroom slippers, and this book…than when you are knee-deep in ministry! Buy the book, and make your calling sure.

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Book Review: Replenish by Lance Witt

Book Review: Replenish by Lance Wittreplenish

The Good:

You need this. As someone in ministry, the introduction wakes you up and sets up the need to read this book. Let me just save you the time from reading the introduction, because I know many of you will skip it anyway, and just know there is reason for every pastor, missionary, or anyone in a ministry…you need to read this book.

Transparency. When an author shows transparency appropriately, it brings the book to life, in my opinion. The author is willing to show his weaknesses and mistakes made in the past to bring a more personal touch and more valuable for the reader.

Short & Sweet. I love short chapters. As a father of many kids, I have like 3 or 4 kids now (kidding, kidding)…but sometimes I get interrupted in my reading and thoughts and momentum of the read can get disjointed. This book provides short chapters that pack a punch. Plus, if these chapters were longer, I honestly think you’d walk away from the chapter like you were just in a heavyweight fight.   Great, challenging content in every chapter.

41 Chapters…There’s One for You. Seriously, if you cannot find one chapter out of the forty-one chapters, you must have reached sainthood or just are too proud to admit your flaws. Everyone in ministry will be able to find something they need improvement. Plus, each chapter provides reflection questions to help you get started on your self-improvement.

The Bad:

Repetitive Beginning. For some reason, the first four chapters seem to repeat the same thought over and over. Not sure why. But, for what it’s worth, it is a very good thought!

Missing Verses. If you’ve read my blogs before, writers should include references when they are quoting the Bible. Do I need to start a petition?

Too Honest? For me, as a reader, I enjoy the honesty of the author. Some readers may be turned off by the honesty and personal stories. This may be less of a bad thing, but more of a toss-up depending on the reader.

The Grade: A. Pastors, buy this. Church people, buy this for your pastor. For someone in ministry, it is a refreshing read. It will save you from years of trouble and burnout down the road, and improve the ministry you are currently serving. This book came strongly recommended from a missionary friend to my pastor, and he liked it so much he bought me a copy. So what does that tell you?

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Book Review: Dangerous Calling

Book Review:  Dangerous Calling by Paul David Trippdangerous_calling_banner

The Good:  Maybe I should have labeled this section of the review “The Great”, because there is some great stuff in here.  The author begins the book with an honest and humble look at his own personal sin struggle with anger and pride.  You can’t help but examine your own life through the author’s guts and transparency.  Throughout the book, you can tell it is written through blood, sweat, & tears of ministry.  Each chapter screams ministry experience and is written out of love for other pastors.  There are must read chapters all over the place.  For example, chapter 3 is a must read for all professors and teachers, from kindergarten to grad level (I actually sent the book and chapter number to my alma mater for their refreshment).  Chapter 4 is a must read for all pastoral search committees, and I mean A MUST!  I can’t remember the last time I was sending a book’s title to specific people to tell them you have to read this chapter.  Incredible ministry insight throughout that provides priceless ministry training to both young and veterans in ministry pure gold.

The Bad:  The only bad would be there is slight repetitiveness towards the end of the book, taking away from the incredible content of the majority of the book.

The Grade:  A.  Given to me at a leadership conference at a ministry balance seminary.  Boy, am I thankful I read it.  This book very well may be the best, and is definitely the most honest, ministry book out there.  In terms of providing valuable insight into longevity in ministry, ministry balance, and burnout prevention…this book was a home run.  Each person in ministry should grab this book.  Notice I didn’t say just pastors, I’m talking anyone in leadership ministry positions, they need to read this.  You hear me, although this is written to pastors primarily (especially in the latter chapters), there are ministry principles in this book that ministry leaders need for their spiritual health.

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