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Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church's Responsibility in the External Call (Ministering the Master's Way) Paperback – April 1, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


In this new and important book, Brian Croft presents a bold and biblical understanding of the call to ministry. Along the way, Brian clarifies many issues of contemporary confusion, and his commitment to the local church ensures that his understanding of the call to ministry is never severed from the context of God's people. Few books are more timely than this one, and I am thankful to Brian Croft for his faithful and careful consideration of the call to ministry. --R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Brian Croft provides clear, practical teaching about the role of the local church regarding men who sense a call to vocational ministry. This process used to be referred to as a church's ongoing ministry of 'calling out the called.' Pastor Croft has led his church to develop an intentional approach to evaluating a man's sense of call, an approach that is as effective as that of almost any church I know. If you have responsibilities of spiritual leadership in your local church, you'll want to get this book, for you'll find it helpful every time a man indicates that he senses God's call to vocational ministry. --Donald Whitney, Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and former Director of Applied Ministry, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, USA

Brian Croft loves the Savior, and he loves the church. That comes through in every page of this book. And every page of this book offers cogent, biblical, and useful instruction for this most necessary of responsibilities in the local church: testing, training, affirming, and sending workers into the ministry. For those of us who care that the harvest is plentiful and want the Lord of the harvest to send workers, this book helps us to be sure the workers are worth their wages. Croft tells us what to look for, and when we find it, how to cultivate it. --Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, and author, 'What Is a Healthy Church Member?'

About the Author

Brian Croft graduated from Indiana University in 1997 with a B.A. in Sociology and undertook some graduate work at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served in pastoral ministry for fifteen years and is currently in his seventh year as Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He is the author of Visit the Sick: Ministering God's grace in times of illness (Acclaimed by Dr. Albert Mohler Jr. in Preaching Magazine as one of the year's best books for preachers in 2008). He and his wife, Cara, have four children: Samuel, Abby, Isabelle, and Claire.

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Product Details

  • Series: Ministering the Master's Way
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Day One Publications (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846251974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846251979
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,583,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

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Brian Croft, Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist church in Louisville, Kentucky, has produced a much needed resource in the area of the call to the ministry (as a pastor or missionary). This concise work comes equipped with a forward by Albert Mohler, Jr. himself, who, when speaks, deserves our attention. In his introduction, Brian Croft draws our attention to two aspects of the call to the ministry; one of them we are quite familiar with, while the other is often neglected in our day. The internal call is that call an individual senses within himself, as a God-given desire to work in the ministry, and believes he has been gifted for such a purpose. The external call, the one neglected or misunderstood, is that call which involves the local church examining the ministry-aspirant. It is this call that Croft seeks to give clarity and biblical instruction in, and I believe he has done us all a huge favor in this Bible-centered book, full of practical insight from his own ministry. The chapters follow:

1 Prologue: To What is the Pastor Called?
2 Who is Responsible for the External Call?
3 Who Should Receive the External Call?
4 Who Gives the External Call?
5 How Should We Proceed with the External Call?
6 What is at Stake with the External Call?
7 Conclusion
Appendix 1 Pastoral Internship Template
Appendix 2 Service Review Evaluation
Appendix 3 The External Call (Acts 13:1-3)

I'm tempted to spend a brief amount of time in each chapter giving a summary of Croft's main points, but at the same time I don't want to give too much away. Allow me, therefore, to briefly summarize the whole book.
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By AuH2o on March 26, 2014
Format: Paperback
This was a wonderfully helpful book, and I'm grateful to Mr. Croft for providing the church with this picture of how the external call ought to function within the local church. As a person prayerfully considering the call to full-time gospel ministry, I appreciated his emphasis that an external call is necessary in addition to the subjective, internal call.

One critique is that I thought the exegetical basis for locating this external call in the local church was underdeveloped. I agreed ultimately with his argument, but the exegesis of Acts 13:1-3 could have used a more in-depth analysis. It was a short book, so it's understandable, but it warranted a four star rating in my opinion.

Again, I'm very thankful to Mr. Croft for his work, grace and peace to the people of God.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a Wonderful resource for training of Pastors! I would highly recommend this to any one training to be a pastor or mainly for those who are training pastors who will be sent out to pastor new works! Wonderful Resource! I Loved It!
Pastor J. Washington
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Format: Paperback
Brian Croft writes an excellent, succinct book discussing the local church's responsibility to "call the called." Croft says that while the personal, internal call of a man to preach is necessary, it is not nearly sufficient to determined who is truly called by God and who is not. What is necessary is for the local church to test and train a man to determine his gifts and abilities and then finally affirm (or not) whether he is truly called to the pastorate or not.

The book has many strengths. Croft has worked in the pastorate for about 15 years, and his practical experience shows through the pages. Croft writes with passion, insight, and pastoral wisdom. This is plainly a man who is serious about shepherding the people of God and is anxious to see the next generation of pastors and teachers rise to their high calling. The book is well researched and well written with numerous quotations and thoughtful interaction with both authors and the Bible. Test, Train, Affirm, and Send is also eminently practical for all those involved in church from pastoral staff to laymen in the pews. In short, the book was a pleasure to read.

On a personal note, it was very convicting and makes me ponder my specific calling. I certainly feel the internal call, but I've never thought about the genuine necessity to seek external confirmation. This will be something that I will be prayerfully pursuing in the coming weeks. I am exceedingly thankful that Brian Croft took time write this short yet wonderful little book on practical pastoral ministry.
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