Thursday, March 23, 2017

Five Books on Ministry

I enjoyed lunch and conversation this week with a new friend (a friend of friends), a student of theology, who was passing through the area. He asked me to suggest five books to read related to ministry and the call to the ministry. I thought this would be good fodder for a blog post, so here are five books I would suggest on these topics (in no particular order):

1.    Charles Bridges, The Christian Ministry (original 1830; Banner of Truth reprint, 1976).

I’ve been making liberal use of Bridges’ Ecclesiastes commentary in my current sermon series. This work on ministry is also a gem, filled with many a helpful insight and admonition, like this one: “Ours is the care of service—His is the care of success” (p. 76).

2.    Charles Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students (original 1875; Zondervan reprint, 1954).

This is the classic collection of Spurgeon’s addresses to students at his pastors’ college. Among the memorable must-read addresses: “The Minister’s Self-Watch,” “The Call to the Ministry,” “The Minister’s Fainting Fits,” “The Blind Eye and the Deaf Ear.”

3.    William Still, Dying to Live (Christian Focus, 1991).

Still wrote this brief memoir while in his 80s reflecting on 45 years as pastor of Gilcomston South Church in Aberdeen, Scotland. I read this several years ago while going through a difficult time and found it to be very encouraging. See this post.

4.    Courtney Anderson, To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson (Zondervan, 1956).

This inspiring biography tells the compelling story of the patience, suffering, sacrifice, and eventual fruit in the ministry of the pioneer missionary to Burma. In a ministers’ conference in Malaysia in 2015 I met men from Myanmar (Burma) who still use the Bible Judson translated into their language.

5.    John Bunyan, Pilgrim’s Progress [Part One] (original 1677; multiple reprints).

Before a man is a minister he is a “Christian” and a “Pilgrim” on the road to the celestial city.

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