- File Size: 712 KB
- Print Length: 274 pages
- Publisher: Crossway (September 1, 2015)
- Publication Date: September 15, 2015
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00XWDR2KS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #410,959 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$16.99|
|Print List Price:||$16.99|
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The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus Kindle Edition
|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"The Imperfect Pastor might be the most helpful and profound book I've read in years. If you're in pastoral ministry, grab a copy."
―Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls and The Explicit Gospel
“It's hard to imagine a book packed with more grace and insight into the extraordinary life of the ordinary pastor. So I'll quit trying and just read Zack Eswine's The Imperfect Pastor again. No one today shows more insight into the perils and joys of everyday ministry in the local church―a refreshingly honest and beautifully written meditation.”
―Mark Galli, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today
“I wish I’d read this book twenty-five years ago when I first began to consider pastoral ministry. The ground Zack covers is vital for novices and senior pastors alike. He steers us well clear of dangerous ambitions, absurd expectations, and corrosive work patterns. But he does so with wit, self-deprecation, and deeply felt realism. Eswine reignited in me a love for the Perfect Shepherd who has the extraordinary grace to include imperfect shepherds in his kingdom work. This should be on everyone’s must-read list!”
―Mark Meynell, Associate Director (Europe), Langham Preaching; author, A Wilderness of Mirrors
“Zack Eswine has done it again. In The Imperfect Pastor, he extends the hand of brotherhood to every minister of the gospel. Too many weary soldiers guard the front lines; Eswine reminds us all that Christ is our guard and defender, and that strength in him is our strongest place.”
―Lore Ferguson, writer; graphic designer; speaker
“This book needs to be read by every pastor, to rescue us and call us back to what matters. The expectation of large, famous, and fast ministry in a post-Christian culture can be a destructive burden. Zack's wisdom is a healing balm bringing needed grace to help us minister with patience and endurance.”
―Peter Boyd, Pastor, Shore Presbyterian Church, Auckland, New Zealand
“This is simply the best book on pastoral ministry I have ever read. In an upside-down ministry world that idolizes stardom and size, Zack opens our eyes to the only things that really matter. Prayerfully read and reread this beautiful, poignant meditation and you will discover joy and true greatness in the midst of your extraordinary, ordinary life.”
―Ken Shigematsu, Pastor, Tenth Church Vancouver, best-selling author, God in My Everything
“Zack Eswine pokes his prose into a very sensitive area we pastors and leaders hate to discuss: the amount of people who come to our churches, the size of the offering, and the number of social media followers we have can be the Nielson Ratings we draw our sense of identity and esteem from. As painful as this truth may seem, this is not a book filled with condemnation but rather winsome encouragement. I could feel Zack's arms around me as God used him to point the way forward―toward a path of healing and hope.”
―Bryan Loritts, Pastor for Preaching and Mission, Trinity Grace Church, New York City; Founder and President, The Kainos Movement; Editor, Letters to a Birmingham Jail
“The Imperfect Pastor is a refreshing reminder of what ministry is all about: walking with Jesus, recognizing our own desires and limitations, and reflecting a listening presence, hopeful patience, and restorative purpose. Zack’s personal experiences related to the ups and downs of ministry, along with his contemplative approach to spirituality, will challenge and encourage anyone who seeks to minister in the name of Jesus.”
―Wendy Der, Director of Mobilization in Mexico, Avance Internacional
“Here is wisdom reminiscent of the gifted preachers of another era, but expressed in the sound and tone of today. Here is pastoral theology written, preached, and lived out in the very real and checkered life of Zack himself. Here is humane and godly counsel. You should read this book!”
―Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries
About the Author
Zack Eswine (PhD, Regent University) is the lead pastor at Riverside Church in Webster Groves, Missouri, and the director of homiletics at Covenant Theological Seminary. Zack and his wife, Jessica live in St. Louis, Missouri, with their three children. For more information, visit ZackEswine.com.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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Eswine's message in a nutshell: "Mark this down, okay? You and I were never meant to repent for not being everywhere for everybody and all at once. You and I are meant to repent because we've tried to be" (pg. 74).
Reading "The Imperfect Pastor" quietly and slowly was an exercise in repentance for me and good medicine. There's nothing wrong with the book. It's so well-written it doesn't even taste like medicine going down. It's just that I'm sick with the disease that the author describes: pride. Highly recommended for new pastors just learning their craft and for older pastors who have not yet discovered joy in their limitations.
Within this framework of thought, the Sunday morning sermon is effective, because it is lived out by the preacher from Monday through Saturday. Being a pastor is about personally being involved in people’s lives. This means being there for them during their peaks, valleys, and normal rhythms. I am passionate about helping people live balanced, restful, and purposeful lives—ones characterized by faith, community, and God’s goodness.
Now forty years into my pastoral calling, it is easy to write that Peterson’s thoughts on pastoral ministry helped me be a better pastor. The Imperfect Pastor contains similar concepts, albeit for a new generation of pastors.￼ Thanks Zack Eswine!
If you are in pastoral ministry consider reading this book. It emphasizes “discovering joy in our limitations [as a pastor] through a daily apprenticeship with Jesus.”
This is not one of those books. This is more like "How to Pastor a Church Without Losing Your Soul." It is eloquently written, bracingly honest, and inspiring as it shows us the perils and pitfalls of trying to be successful quickly, prove we know everything, and have our own way in the ministry. Along the way, the author presents a different path, a more Jesus-like way of serving a group of people in the community where God places us. I would highly recommend this to anyone considering ministry as a vocation. But it's also good as a refresher for people like me, at the midpoint of our lives and service.
I have been asked time and time again to give recommendations on my "top" leadership books for church leadership and ministry. Honestly, I struggle to provide an answer. For me, truthfully, there are very few books that I have reread regarding leadership or ministry and recommend to others. My list is very short: Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud; The Contemplative Pastor by Eugene Peterson; In The Name of Jesus by Henri Nouwen
Six Thinking Hats by Edward de Bono
After reading Zack Eswine's book The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy In Our Limitations Through A Daily Apprenticeship With Jesus published by Crossway I will adding a new book to my very short list.
The first few lines of the book set the tone for the journey Zack takes his readers on. "I became a pastor. But I didn't know how to be one. The Serpent saw this. He seized his opportunity. 'You can be like God,' he said. And I, the fool, believed him." While reading Zack's book, the Divine Comedy came to mind. Zack is the both proverbial Virgil or Beatrice taking the reader through his journey of "Inferno to Paradiso." We the reader accompany Zack through a "Dante"-like journey filled with lessons in limitation found only in a "daily apprenticeship with Jesus."
Zack explores the challenges and temptations to exceed our calling, to transcend our humanity in the pursuit of leading in ways in which we can be everywhere, fix everything, know everything, and do it all quickly. Zack's call to resist the temptations to do everything large, famous, and fast is a tonic for the souls of all leaders in our culture, but certainly for those of us in ministry.
The Imperfect Pastor is a personal book. Zack walks us through his journey of big mistakes and small victories. Many leadership books advance the idea that we can be more than we are, but the Imperfect Pastor calls us back to be what Jesus asks us to do and be in all our humanly limitation. The lessons are personal, powerful, poignant, and pointed.
Many leadership books scream from the rooftops about their paradigms, positions, and powerful ideas. These sorts of books show us the ways in which we can overcome all our limitations to reach our self-defined destinations of success.
"What I am trying to say is that life and ministry are an apprenticeship in Jesus in which, by his grace, he recovers our humanity, and for his glory he enables others to do the same."
The Imperfect Pastor whispers to you. The author invites you onto the front porch, into his study, into stories of Papaw and Mamaw, small church pulpits, funerals, board meetings, and out into an imperfect world filled with imperfect people all who need shepherding and care and calls us to give what we can while embracing our limitations.
When asked, what book I would recommend for anyone considering entering into ministry or church leadership, this book will certainly be on my "limited" list.
Top international reviews
Now you may be thinking that since you don’t work for a church this book wouldn’t be for you – you would be wrong! I would recommend this book for anyone serving in a church no matter what their role or employment status is. This book would be ideal for the newly appointed elder or deacon as much as it would be helpful for the willing church volunteer with aspirations towards growth and maturity.
An interesting book with both a reflective and at times poetic writing style I would heartily recommend it!