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Letters to a Young Pastor [Kindle Edition]

Calvin Miller
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Calvin Miller has long been one of the most creative voices in the church. As a best-selling author and poet he has enabled believers to flourish. As a pastor and educator he has equipped countless thousands to know and serve God more fully. And he’s got the battle scars to prove it.
 
Having survived these tumultuous decades, Dr. Miller now shares his well-earned wisdom with the next generation of pastors—including you, or someone you know.
 
Miller acknowledges much has changed over his years of ministry, as we’ve moved from switchboards to smartphones and from big-haired evangelists to cigar-smoking emergents. But two truths remain the same: God is love and people are broken. In this honest, engaging, and humorous collection of letters, he encourages you to fight the good fight, stay the course, and keep your eye on the Author and Finisher of the faith … to serve well every Sunday so you’ll never feel the urge to resign on Monday.


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Calvin Miller has long been one of the most creative voices in the church. As a best-selling author and poet he has enabled believers to flourish. As a pastor and educator he has equipped countless thousands to know and serve God more fully. And he’s got the battle scars to prove it.
 
Having survived these tumultuous decades, Dr. Miller now shares his well-earned wisdom with the next generation of pastors—including you, or someone you know.
 
Miller acknowledges much has changed over his years of ministry, as we’ve moved from switchboards to smartphones and from big-haired evangelists to cigar-smoking emergents. But two truths remain the same: God is love and people are broken. In this honest, engaging, and humorous collection of letters, he encourages you to fight the good fight, stay the course, and keep your eye on the Author and Finisher of the faith…to serve well every Sunday so you’ll never feel the urge to resign on Monday.

About the Author

 

Calvin Miller was pastor of Westside Church, Omaha, Nebraska, for twenty-five years. After teaching seven years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, he joined the faculty of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he is Research Professor and distinguished Writer in Residence. He is the author of more than forty books.

 


Product Details

  • File Size: 491 KB
  • Print Length: 256 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005LODWDW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So Much Sarcasm November 28, 2011
Format:Paperback
Coming from a pastor of twenty-five years, you'd think Calvin Miller would have plenty to share with the new generation of pastors.

This book is stocked full of his anecdotes and insights of what it takes to be a minister, the sort of people you will come in contact with, how to interact with them and what he believes to be wrong with Christianity and its leaders.

You will not be missing any of Miller's sarcasm as these letters are full of it. I'm talking every single letter has the sarcasm included. At times this is confusing because I wasn't sure if he was trying to be serious about a complaint or just making light of it.

For example, he thrashes the megachurch pastors pretty hard. He claims megachurch pastors don't read books unless they deal with church growth.

Then he rips into Christians who don't end their prayers with "in Jesus' Name". As if saying those three words invokes some supernatural authority. (You'd have to understand what it means to do something "in the name of Christ" - it's along the same lines as taking God's name in vain)

He states that Rick Warren's prayer at President Obama's inauguration seemed to give Jesus the right to, "the nation of faith He forged at a terrible price."

See, I'm not sure if he's doing the whole tongue-in-cheek act there or if he is serious.

All in all, this book is a fun read for new preachers. It'll provide some fun insight and humorous stories from a seasoned minister.

I could have done with less sarcasm.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by David C Cook Publishing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom from a Seasoned Pastor January 16, 2012
Format:Paperback
The first rule of pastoral preparation should be that you don't get to pastor until you've apprenticed under a godly, seasoned pastor. I'd bend the rule occasionally for special cases like Spurgeon, but the rule would apply to the rest of us. And my second rule would be that you have to read a curmudgeon or two. I recommend Carl Trueman. But I think Calvin Miller might be up to the job as well.

In Letters to a Young Pastor, Calvin Miller shares from decades of pastoral ministry on almost every topic possible. I love it. I don't agree with everything he says, but I sense that he wrote more than a few sentences in this book with his tongue firmly in his cheek.

Miller is so out of step with contemporary Christianity that he's willing to call the emperor naked. He's played many of the games that young pastors play, and he's no longer interested. He's brutally honest, even when it rubs against the evangelical grain.

Here are some samples.

-On being a pastor and a father: "If the church suddenly came up with a critical meeting on circus night, I'd go to the circus."

-On ministry in a megachurch world: "One of our chief sins is that we school our students in the works of preachers with large churches and then brutally send them into the world of small churches where they remain until retirement."

-On theological mushiness: "The world is looking for answers. If you have some of them, for goodness' sake spit 'em out. The world is looking for servants of God whose yes is yes. How elementary, how refreshing."

-On hell: "I confess I miss hell ... a lot! What Jesus saved us from is no longer perfectly clear."

-On the mission of the church: "What does your church offer that's missing at the YMCA? ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could see more of Jesus... December 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After many years of pastorate, I'd like to believe that I will more of Jesus in myself and others. But the harsh reality out there can make us cynical...

In change appreciated Mr Miller's book: much good advice, personal stories, and good quotes. The only thing that bothered me was the tone, at times. I wish the book was written against a backdrop of joy and hope because being a pastor should be about something bigger than what this world has to offer: fame, popularity, getting ones will accomplished.

However, reading this book did open my appetite to read some other, better reviewed of mr. Miller's books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So much wisdom for leaders January 28, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Letters to a Young Pastor by Calvin Miller is one of those books I wished I had read several years ago. Miller is in his 70's after spending most of his life as a pastor and writes about the things he's learned, what he'd differently. It reads like sitting with an older mentor at Starbucks. Each chapter averages 4 pages and are written as short emails or letters from Miller to a young pastor.

I was struck by how much time Miller spent talking about character. Most books on pastoral leadership and church growth center on techniques, but it was refreshing to see him spend such a bulk of time on character. Without character, you won't last in ministry. I also appreciated how by the time you are Miller's age, in your mid-70's, the things that used to matter don't matter like they used to.

The other thing he emphasized was tenure, gutting it out when being a leader or pastor becomes difficult. The average pastor now stays at his church 18 months. This is one of the main reasons for a lack of effectiveness among pastors and churches. I am 3 and a half years into Revolution and we are more effective and healthy than we've ever been. I thought back to my 18 month mark and it was one of the hardest seasons of my leadership, but on the other side of that came a lot of vitality.

Here are a few things that jumped out, some of the best advice if it were:

-"People will endure anything in a church except an absence of vitality."
-Not everyone seems to believe it, but at the center of this minor formula for success is tenure. So many of the letters in this book focus on the long haul and the power of sticking to one thing: tenure.
-Every call makes one statement: One preaches because one must.
-"Pastoral care is a world of unbearable pain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written & helpful!
Wonderful book! Enjoy the author's insights to dealing with church members, committees, etc. The book is well written. Read more
Published 22 days ago by 67Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Really enjoyed this book. Didn't rush through, just pondered, laughed, and thought of ways to improve my service to others as a result.
Published 1 month ago by asiasoon
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, honest and thought provoking.
Each article brings a different t viewpoint that in and of itself tells of ministry. Battles won and lost and some that should not have been engaged. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aaron M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great resource
Published 2 months ago by Vicky L. Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books for a new pastor, but great for the seasoned...
I have read much by Calvin Miller and this book does not disappoint! Calvin's style is easy and engaging, he draws you in and before you know it you find yourself face to face... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Honest and Conversational, but it lacked depth...
Compared to a work like Spurgeon's Lectures to His Students, this work was quite lacking. Though I enjoyed certain chapters and found there to be some good points within the book,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Isaiah Jesch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great transaction
Published 4 months ago by Danny Holman
2.0 out of 5 stars It was okay.
This got to be a more ponderous read than an inspiring one. Very wordy. It does have some merit, but I have to admit, I didn't finish it so I don't know if it had A LOT of merit... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bichons & Books
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Well written and definitely to the point. Made me think how to minister to the pastors in my life
Published 4 months ago by skidraye
5.0 out of 5 stars 'offering' good advise and good values
He is a 'seasoned' Pastor and NOT a political or 'social' hack! His experience is in loving people, 'offering' good advise and good values. Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Sholly
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More About the Author

Calvin Miller has written over 40 books of popular theology and inspiration. A former pastor, he is professor of preaching and pastoral ministry at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He and his wife, Joyce, have two grown children.

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