les Davey de France

Alan and Pat live and work in Bordeaux. Alan is a pastor and Pat was a nurse. Now we work with UFM worldwide. Read on! (If you'd like to know what took us to Bordeaux, then start with the archives from September 2004)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pastoring the Pastor - a book review

Pastoring the pastor, by Tim Cooper and Kelvin Gardiner, is a new publication from Christian Focus, endorsed by folk like Hector Morrison, Timothy George and John Woodhouse. It is a true to life account of a new pastor's first two years in ministry in small-town America, recounted by the emails he exchanged with his uncle and other people.

It's a very easy book to read and although there's no way that it's a pastoral theology, still it gently makes some really important points about the nature and goals of Christian ministry. In this way it reminds me of Preaching with Freshness, by Bruce Mawhinney, though it's not as "teachy" or as thorough.

I did find a certain cultural gap between the world the book is set in and the world I've inhabited. In my ministries in Wales and France I have never encountered anyone like the people in this book. But maybe that's a good thing. If the characters were more true to life we'd be tempted to start classifying our church folk as our Compton, Krinks or Murkowski...

There's a certain theological or methodological distance, too. I have never thought of my fellow-elders in the way that our protagonist thinks of his elders, or of my calling as he does.

However I very much enjoyed "Pastoring the pastor". Read the book. It will do you good. It may make you laugh. It may make you weep. It will help you to reflect on your ministry, and that without confrontation or condemnation. That is, unless you read it too quickly... Perhaps it's a book to read twice. Firstly to enjoy the story, then to reflect on the points being made.

1 comment:

Cross Focused Reviews said...

Alan,

Thanks for being a part of the Pastoring the Pastor blog tour. I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I really liked your thoughts on reading through the book twice, once to enjoy the story and a second time to reflect on the points being made. Wishing you every blessing!

Shaun Tabatt
Cross Focused reviews