This both encourages and challenges me: the main qualifier for ministry is steady growth in love for God and others. Paul Woodson writes,
There is no one style of ministry that is productive and no one type of personality that represents good pastoral ministry. The sheer diversity of personality types among ministers is surely a sign that any particular personality type has little to do with the building of the Church. But the pastors whose ministries I particularly applaud (whether successful in the eyes of the world or not) are those whose love for the Lord Jesus is transparent and growing, whose ability to expound the Scriptures with devotion, clarity, practical application, and real unction is increasing, and whose love for people is not artificial or sentimental but self-denying and perceptive (this is essential to what is often called “pastoral care”), and whose desire to proclaim the gospel and work out its implications dictates the focus and priorities of their lives.
You can download this book, “Letters Along the Way” by D.A. Carson and Paul Woodson for free as a pdf by clicking here.
From the Logos website: “Do you want to understand how each part of the Bible fits together to form one unified, unfolding message? Michael Lawrence helps you to do just that. This essential volume presents the substance and practical importance of biblical theology for ministry. He begins with an examination of a pastor’s tools of the trade—exegetical, biblical, and systematic theology—and commends biblical theology as the tool that should never be on the shelf. Lawrence helpfully distinguishes between biblical and systematic theology, but also emphasizes the importance of their collaboration in ministry.”
Usually, you have to go to different sections of the bookstore to find good books on biblical theology, systematic theology, ministry, the church, and the Christian life. At the very least, the relationship between theory and practice seems strained. However, this book brings these concerns together. Michael Lawrence believes that good shepherds are theologians and good theologians are shepherds. For anyone who believes that theology needs the church and the church needs theology, this will be a welcome resource. For anyone playing with the idea, it will be a compelling one.
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary, CA
Every month, christianaudio.com makes one audiobook available for free. Absolutely free. All you have to do is sign up for their newsletter that lets you know what their next free book is. I sound like a salesman. But it really is this good.
This month, they’ve chosen a great one. The Bible.
This month only, christianaudio.com is giving away free audiobook copies of George Marsden’s Jonathan Edwards biography. Simply follow the link at the bottom of the post, sign up for their monthly newsletter, and you get a free audiobook. Pretty simple.
Marsden is considered by many contemporary historians as our century’s premier Edwards biographer. In Justin Taylor‘s recent series of biography recommendations, Marsden’s larger work on Jonathan Edwards has been listed 6 times. For such a small field of study, that says a lot.
While the larger work is over 600 pages, this audiobook is based on the shorter 176 page version. That’s good news for reading featherweights like me (maybe you too).