Posted by: austend | Thursday, October 25, 2007

“On Being a Pastor” Review

Another good book from that Pastoral Ministry class: On Being a Pastor by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg. Prime was a pastor in Edinburgh for 18 years, and Begg is a pastor in Cleveland.The book is well written and contains an enormous amount of information for anyone seeking pastoral ministry.

Two things I especially liked about it are: 1) It has a great deal of practical things like what pastoral responsibilities & pastoral care look like, as well as pressures on the pastor’s family, as well as things like leisure and vacation. Many good books I have read on the subject of pastors do not include such things. They primarily deal with how to preach and what the character of the man of God is to be like. So this book was good to provide some practical ministry things. 2) It contains the personal experiences of the two authors in the details they discuss. They each tell how they did these things in their own way so that the new pastor can see how others have done it and learn from their experience. All in all, I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to know more about the life of the full-time minister. Here are four pages of memorable quotes. Below are some highlights:

“Souls are entrusted to his [the pastor’s] care, the truth is entrusted to his stewardship, and eternal realities hang in the balance.” (Al Mohler)

“If you can avoid entering the ministry, do so! If it is right for a man to give himself completely to the ministry of the gospel, he will feel that it is the only thing he can do.”

“As we think, so we are.”

“Those whom God calls, He equips.”

“Since our relationship to God is the key to everything, it is the principal area of attack upon our Christian life.”

“It is sheer foolishness to pray only when we feel like it.”

“We should never allow those to whom we minister to imagine that we are somehow super-Christians who do not have the same temptations as they do and identical dependence upon God.”

“Study becomes merely academic and arid if we do not put into practice what we learn.”

“Our determination to study should never be influenced by our feelings….if we limit our study to when we feel fresh and enthusiastic about it, we will accomplish little.”

“We must not be afraid of leadership as if it were somehow or other not really Christian to want to lead.”

“Christian leaders ought to be able to say, ‘whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice and follow my example as I follow Christ.’”

“Many eyes are upon you, and therefore there will be many to observe your falls.”

Source: Prime, Derek and Alistair Begg. On Being a Pastor. Chicago: Moody, 2004. {Here}


  1. Austen…thanks for sharing this. I will be enjoying reading what you have to say. This book sounds like a good one…I will get them for Ken and Kyle for Christmas. Thanks!

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