Monday, May 8, 2017

"10 Things Every Minister Needs to Know" by Ronnie Floyd: A Review

The office of the pastor is the ministry office that serves the church. You will not find in the Bible the various staff minister titles we have today. This does not make them wrong, but it makes us ask, which are in the Bible? We know the pastor-teacher is a gift that operates the ministry of the local church. We know it has unique and distinct value. The Scripture esteems the office; therefore, we should esteem the office. Any staff member serves at the will of the pastor and is an extension of his calling as pastor-teacher of the church.

Let me make something very clear to you. I am not speaking of a particular or specific pastor; I am speaking of the office of the pastor. This is something much holier than a man. (113)

I have both said it and been told by more seasoned veterans, though seminary training is a crucial part of ministry preparation and I would not training my seminary years for anything, there are many things one simply does not learn in academia. As such, it is commonplace for pastors to invest in books like Ronnie Floyd's helpful book 10 Things Every Minister Needs to Know. It proved to be a very helpful and insightful book for myself and I suspect it will be just as helpful for pastors of all stripes and experience levels.

The ten things are as follows:
  1. The Power of One Hour
  2. Who You Are is More Important That what You Do
  3. Practice Determines Play
  4. Building Family is More Important Than Building Ministry
  5. You're Not Thinking Big Enough
  6. Not Every Hill is Worth Dying On
  7. Relationships Move Your Ministry
  8. Decision Making is Not about You
  9. Balance Draws Masses
  10. How to Believe God For Your Future
I have been in vocational ministry for over a decade and found Floyd's take helpful and worth returning to. I would emphasize, especially for those new to ministry, the importance of focusing more on your family than on your ministry. Lose your family and you will no longer have a ministry - pure and simple. Furthermore, Floyd's exhortation that "relationships move your ministry" is crucial and is a central part of what it means to be an under-shepherd.

The most insightful portion regards the quote above which is only a partial quote. In it, Floyd speaks of protecting the office of the pastor in similar ways presidents speak of protecting the office of the president. This is worth meditating on more. Pastoral ministry is much bigger than the pastor and no minister should ever forget that. To compromise that is to do a disservice to the God we serve, the church we've been called to serve, and any pastor who may, one day, shepherd the people of that church.

Overall, this is an accessible book and I would recommend other fellow ministers invest in. Seminary does not train us for everything. Thankfully we have resources like this in our continued ministry education.
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