The Healthy Pastor: Easing the Pressures of Ministry by Dennis Bickers, Beacon Hill Press, 2010.
Being a pastor (if you are a pastor and reading this) you know that there are about a bazillion things that you are responsible for under your care as shepherd. There’s the preaching and teaching of the Word and all the preparation that goes into that, there’s the oversight of all ministry committees and boards, there’s the networking with fellow community pastors, visiting the sick, imprisoned, helping the poor who don't have gas to get to the next town, daily office administration, numerous telephone calls, handling calls from marketers, personal spiritual development, professional development, PRAYER, your family, maintaining a healthy physical appearance (exercise), recruiting of workers for age level ministries, and on and on. All to be done with utmost excellence and on a weekly basis. WOW, I’m tired.
Could it be that all this responsibility compounded with the fact that you are probably not financially compensated as well as you need to be…brings a lot of stress on you and on your marriage (if you are married)? Pastors leave their places of leadership all the time…every day! Some never to return. The pressure is too great and it takes it’s toll by the time you add up all the critics and hard knocks you sometimes have to face. However, if you are in this thing for the distance…the long haul, what can you do to ease some of these tensions?
My suggestion, unashamedly, is to purchase a GREAT new book from Beacon Hill Press called The Healthy Pastor: Easing the Pressures of Ministry. This book, by lifetime bivocational pastor, Dennis Bickers is reality! It speaks to the realities of what is…and the reality of how God’s Word and some intentional thoughts and practices can ease some of the pressures we face as pastors. Elimination…probably not…easing-yes. This 14 chapter book is so “nuts and bolts” you as a pastor will read this and say to yourself, “finally someone who gets my pressures and is offering some help.”
Well, I cannot make you buy a book, but I hope that this post is candid enough to the point that as I suggest this book, you will strongly consider Bickers new book as a tool to point you in the direction of HOW to ease those ministry pressures in your life.
P.S. - This might be my first and maybe only book I post as a book review on this site. The ONLY reason I post this one is because I really do think this book has strong/practical merit. Perhaps if NazNet folks would like an occasional recommendation on a new BHP book, I could accommodate, but it is not my intent to "sell" books on NazNet in a way that seems corporate. Hope that makes sense?