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“On Pastoring” by H.B Charles Review

As a young pastor in ministry, I am always eager to learn what the Lord has taught older, more seasoned pastors. This book is filled with great lessons from a pastor who started his pastoral ministry at the age of seventeen. At the time of this book was written, H.B Charles had been in pastoral ministry for a quarter of a century. On Pastoring is essentially a quick refresher of all of the things that I learned in seminary. It is filled with different types of life lessons that young and old pastors need to learn/relearn while they are in ministry.

What I appreciate about this book is that it gets to the point. Each chapter includes specific facets of pastoral ministry and H.B Charles does a good job in realigning our every day life as a pastor to what the scripture has to say. Through the business of ministry, sometimes I forget to go back to the basics and do the basic things well. This book helped me remember the lessons that seminary and my mentors have taught me in the past. H.B Charles reminded me that we just need to do what is pleasing to the Lord and the Lord will take care of the rest.

“It should not be that people hear us preach and think we should never get out of the pulpit, but then see our lifestyles and think we should never get in the pulpit.”

I think this book is also helpful for church members who may not fully understand what it is a pastor does or the rigors that pastors go through in ministry. This book certainly helps church members learn to appreciate their pastors. I know this to be the case in my own life. As an assistant pastor, I am slowly realizing that ministry is not for the faint of heart. I am sure that the pastors who have been in my life in the past, and even my current pastor, are men that are constantly dependent on God’s grace every day to stay faithful in preaching, living a life above reproach, leading their homes, and serving the church. H.B Charles doesn’t hide from the difficulties of being a pastor. I suggest that this is a great book for the church to get some insight on how to pray and encourage their pastors.

It’s also immensely encouraging to know that God will continue to work through the mistakes of the pastor. H.B Charles shares some of his mistakes early on in his ministry and it was so easy to see myself either messing up or potentially messing up in the same manner. It’s always great to see how the Lord matures someone through mistakes made in ministry.

“Here’s the bottom line: truth is truth, whether I experience it or not. The Lord does not need my experience to validate His Word.”

In all, this book is a great read. I am thankful that the Lord has made me stumble across this book and allowed me to read this book early on in my ministry. I trust that I will reread this book again in the future with a different perspective.

Some of the quotes that stood out to me:

“Fallen pastors often admit that, in addition to dangerously assuming they were immune to temptation, they did not have true friends with whom they talked candidly. Some pastors have no ministry friends whatsoever. Other have friends that they intentionally keep on a superficial level, so that no one has room to intrude into the details of their lives. This is not healthy.” (31)

“It should not be that people hear us preach and think we should never get out of the pulpit, but then see our lifestyles and think we should never get in the pulpit.” (35)

“When a church repeatedly refuses to let the pastor lead the church, it usually means that people who are not called to be pastors are actually leading the church from the pews.” (57)

“A passion to preach without discipline to study is a desire to perform. Faithful preaching requires diligent preparation.” (122)

“Here’s the bottom line: truth is truth, whether I experience it or not. The Lord does not need my experience to validate His Word.” (130)

“Ultimately, there are two reasons why I am committed to expositional preaching. On one hand, I am not smart enough to preach anything but the Bible. On the other hand, I am too smart to preach anything but the Bible!” (143)

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