Some spare time over Christmas gave me the opportunity to read a range of books simply, ones that were for my personal benefit and not directly for ministerial work. I generally keep a shelf of books set aside for times such as these, and I eagerly devour my collection of personal books, when time permits. One such book that I could not put down was The Work of the Pastor by William Still. It is lively, invigorating, incisive, confirming and encouraging. William Still teaches on the work of the pastor and its great need for the church in every generation. It would be very helpful, not only for ministers and elders but also for congregations, because it helps us all to know what we should be praying for, and that is for faithful pastors.
Here are a few excerpts:
'The pastor is to called to feed the sheep, even if the sheep do not want to be fed. He is certainly not to become an entertainer of goats. Let goats entertain goats, and let them do it in goatland. You will certainly not turn goats into sheep by pandering to their goatishness (23)'.
'We are suffering from an evangelistic complex, an obsession with evangelism, which at its best is too fruitless (81)'.
'Too many ministers find other things to do, either because they do not like the pastoral ministry, and find it too hard, or because it creates too many problems working with people, or because they have gone cold and dead on it and it doesn't cut much ice, and they are discouraged (86)'.
Even if you do not read this book, may we all lay hold of the promise in Jeremiah 3:15, in prayer:
And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.