While the Word of God never changes, and thus our interpretation of it never changes, it seems that few books being published these days about the timeless Word of God could themselves be described as timeless. Portraits of a Pastor (edited by Jason K. Allen) appears to be a timeless book. Certainly, only time will tell, but the immediate value of this book is real, and it’s straightforward revelation of truth applied to a pastoral context. That makes this a valuable resource and a needed resource.
What is a pastor and what are his responsibilities? Despite biblical clarity, the answer to that question often eludes many people. Therefore, Portraits of a Pastor seeks to open up the Scripture and answer those very questions. To do this, nine men united to examine the various roles that a pastor must fulfill. Each author has been chosen to write about the area that he specializes in, making this a book of the experts. Utilizing a chapter each, the authors dig deep into God’s word to give the following portraits of a pastor:
Pastor as shepherd
Pastor as husband and father
Pastor as preacher
Pastor as theologian
Pastor as church historian
Pastor as evangelist
Pastor as missionary
Pastor as leader
Pastor as man of God
Examining individual portraits, together these give an overview of just what is expected of a pastor.
While most of the roles a pastor fills are not surprising, there are a couple of surprises on this list (i.e. church historian, missionary). Yet, even some of the expected roles are frequently overlooked (i.e. theologian, shepherd). Therefore, one can appreciate the conviction that each author writes with and the emphasis towards Godliness that is conveyed.
Bogged down by worldly expectations of a pastor, rarely is the first view towards the godly expectations of a pastor. The authors have done well at utilizing a short amount of space (193 pages) by highlighting the major points within each role. Frustrated with many of the books that Moody Publishers so willingly publish, it is nice to see them publish a book of this caliber that maintains a deep conviction of truth. This is a must-have read for every pastor.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, this review is not influenced by the author, editor, publisher, or anyone associated with the book and is the response of my own reading of the book.