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Eugene Peterson, in The Unnecessary Pastor:

The difference between his [Paul’s] life as Pharisee and as Christian was not in his intellectual ability nor in his knowledge of Scripture but in his relation to the Scriptures: as a Pharisee he used the Scriptures; as a Christian he submitted to them.

 

 

I recently read three books I’d like to share that have impacted the way I look at pastoral ministry. I’m anticipating that their effects will be felt in my life and vocation for many years.

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The first is Eugene Peterson’s The Pastor: A Memoir, which is an engaging look at his own journey from the Montana wilderness to the east coast as he uncovers his calling as a pastor. Peterson has always been a big influence on me, and seeing his development in the ministry was interesting and encouraging.

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Letters to a Young Pastor is the late Calvin Miller’s collection of advice to young leaders in letter form. His commentary on the pastoral life was both challenging and hilarious as he talked about setbacks, victories, and the occasional church politics run-in.

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Finally, Paul David Tripp’s Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry addresses the overall state of the North American pastorate from a behavioral health standpoint. Gut-wrenching in all the necessary ways, this book is a wake-up call to pastors who labor to see Jesus magnified, their families cared for, and their own ministry longevity.

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