A few years ago, I wrote a post entitled, “12 Books I Could Write for Pastors”—which was essentially a list of things I’ve learned as a pastor. Today, I’m thinking about other books I wish someone would write for pastors. Maybe you’d like to see these books, too:
- Balance: How to Fit Sermon Preparation, Hospital Visits, Emergency Calls, Evangelistic Efforts, Mentoring Others, Casual Conversations, and Just about Anything Else into Your Life. Just writing the list makes me tired. The pastor’s work, it seems, is never finished.
- In the Street as Well as in the Pulpit: Evangelism for the Pastor. Those pastors who struggle doing what they know they need to do—personally telling others about Jesus—need to hear how other pastors are getting the job done. We need examples and role models more than exhortations.
- Taking Care of Yourself: Exercise in the Day of Fellowship Meals and Prospect Lunches. Ministry often involves a lot of meals, and too many of us don’t take care of ourselves otherwise. We become a poor witness when we give evidence of a general lack of discipline.
- Learning to Let It Go and Get Some Rest. Some of us fret over mistakes and misunderstandings far more than others do. We lose sleep (even if we’re the only one in the situation who can’t rest), and simply giving something to God isn’t always easy. We need to learn from others.
- When to Leave and When to Stay. Many of us have written blogs and given suggestions, but somebody needs to write a work to help us think through all these issues—especially as more baby boomer pastors approach retirement age. Leaving a church too early and staying too long are both problems.
- Finding Friends and Being a Friend. I’ve talked to far too many pastors who are just lonely. Some have been taught not to have friends in their church. Others simply don’t want to get hurt, or they’ve found few people who are comfortable getting close to the pastor. It would help us to learn how other pastors have navigated these waters.
- Honesty: Dealing with Secret Struggles of a Pastor’s Life. Some don’t always win battles of lust. Others talk more about prayer than really pray. Some are trying to salvage marriages that few people know are facing problems. Still others are wrestling with whether God truly called them to ministry, even as they fight through every day of work. Learning how to be honest with others before these types of issues cost us much would help many of us.
- Memories and Hopes: Joys of Serving as a Pastor. I’ve read books that tell us how to be a pastor, and I’ve read handbooks filled with suggestions for pastoring well. I’ve also read tough stories of pastors who struggled through a fall. What I’ve seldom read are testimonies of pastors who just love their work – and who can tell story after story of the fun of pastoring. I know the stories exist, though, because I’ve lived them. We need to tell them.
What other books for pastors would you like to see written?