Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The New Pastor's Handbook - A Review

The New Pastor’s Handbook


Jason Helopoulos

A Review

Every new pastor needs a hand to hold onto. Often that hand will begin with a book. For me that book was Lloyd Perry’s A Manual of Pastoral Problems and Procedures.  It was helpful and having the author at the front of the class gave it added meaning. However, it was written in 1971 and does not represent the 21st century church. Other books have been written to fill that need - including one by Jason Helopoulos.

Though designed for new pastor, the book discusses 48 questions facing every pastor. The author begins by discussing the nature of a call, the practical issues that face all pastors, and ends with a few questions on self care. Some sections are dedicated to specific types of ministry (the solo pastor, the youth pastor, etc.).  The responses are brief, maybe too brief, but certainly readable over a couple of months if one would read one entry per night. The eager reader could easily read two or three chapters each evening, a more thoughtful reader may want to take a longer time on each entry. With only 3-4 pages set aside for each issue, responses are of necessity brief. Some topics could be fleshed out with a complete book - but certainly no pastor or student has time to read separate books on each topic in the first year of ministry - perhaps over a lifetime. On the other hand, the pastor will want to flesh out his reading by locating and reviewing some of these larger works as he works and serves the people puts across his path.

The book is not deep - but contains a great deal of practical advice. It will fit well into a Pastoral Procedures course in the Bible College; it might serve better as an ancillary text for a similar seminary course. It would also fit well when kept within reach of any pastor serving the local church.

This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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