I am a preacher. But I do more than preach - I reach broken people both in and out of the pulpit. This book focuses on the work that the pastor does outside his or her pulpit ministry.
Eclov begins by focusing on the preparation that the pastor receives outside of the traditional seminary by saying, “God sometimes enrolls us in His own kind of underground seminary to school us in grace before He even clears His throat for a call.” Lee Eclov’s experienced that in the years prior to entering Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. (I was surprised to learn that Lee attended TEDS at the same time I was in attendance; though, now, 30 years later, I do not remember meeting him.)
But as he has prepared us to serve, he uses us as pastors to build his “temple”, the church. Much as a woodworker can transform a dilapidated house into a mansion worthy of a king, the pastor is called to rebuild the “people of God whom we serve” into the “specifications of His holiness and mercy in Christ.”
Eclov is very much aware that the church is built with broken people. This is very true in two distinct ways. First, it implies that the builders are themselves broken. They come with burdens that are deep and hurt. But they also work within a community of broken people. The result is a broken church. Pastor Eclov spends much of his book discussing how the broken pastor, working with broken people, can rebuild a broken church. But it is clear that what he discusses is not unique to his experience - but seen throughout the church.
To do this, the pastor must be prepared - he must be experience grace himself. A pastor who is experiencing God’s grace is able to dispense that grace to God’s people.
The book’s strength comes from Pastor Eclov’s use of very real experiences from his own ministry. It provides evidence that he knows what he is talking about.
The book is recommended for the pastor in training and for the experienced pastor seeking some refreshment for his or her ministry.
This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.