A Review of The Pastor’s Justification by Jared C. Wilson

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Jared Wilson has done a good job in producing this work for the Pastor or Pastor to be. He breaks down how we should look at the office of pastor. This book is not necessarily long one coming in at 194 pages and 11 chapters. In reading this book I made a lot of highlights throughout the work. It is something I would recommend to anyone in or thinking of pastoral ministry.

This book is full of great nuggets that help you look beyond yourself to Christ and what he intends for the pastor to do. Wilson challenges the thought that measuring your success by how big of a crowd you can gather. He says, “Clearly, attracting a crowd cannot be our measure of success.” (Loc.1245) This is something I think every person in ministry has to battle against and Wilson helps to explain how it becomes Idolatry of the size of the congregation. Wilson emphasizes, “The gospel is not the power to save because of our knowledge, our techniques, our systems, our innovations, our preaching style, our music style, our creativity, our conferences, our degrees, our viral marketing, our evaluations and efficiency, or ourselves. None of those things are bad, but we make all of them idols so easily. They take so much effort, and yet we make them idols effortlessly.” (Loc. 1289)

The eleven chapters center around different aspects of the nature of the work of the pastor. Each being of its own importance. He bases most of his material on the work found in 1 Peter 5 where Peter urges his fellow elders to live in a this manner. This is a great book. I would recommend it to not only men in the regular pastoral role but other elders/leaders in your church. This is one that should be on the shelf to come back to for encouragement when ever you begin to struggle with your ministry.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not have to give it a good review.

What Do I Read?

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It’s an intriguing question. One not so easy to answer. At least not for me. I read things which interest me. Right now all kinds of things interest me. Especially learning how to be a better author/blogger/person. If you have read this blog for any period of time you have probably heard me mention a few names before, but two who are main stays are Michael Hyatt and Jeff Goins these two men are writing articles that get me going. They inspire me to be better.

 

Better how? Well, better at making content not because I want you to read it but because I’d want to read it. I have just finished Hyatt’s book Platform and did a review of it. I am in the process of almost finishing Goins book The In-Between it has been a very interesting book and will probably get a review as well.

 

Along with material like that I generally read things on theology, biblical studies, being a good pastor, church stuff. It is rare for me to read some thing that is fictitious. There is one author who I do enjoy who writes fiction and his name is Andy Andrews he wrote a book called The Noticer which was very good, I have the second book in the queue to be read.

 

The reason I tend to read so much churchy stuff is because of my chosen profession. I am studying to become a pastor (hopefully sooner than later). Therefore I tend to have to read this kind of stuff.

 

However, I do enjoy a good blog which can be transparent and down to earth. Or they can help me to understand my oldest son a little better (he has Aspergers). Don’t get me wrong I still read blogs associated with church things. Not because I have to but because I love God and want to serve him well. One of my favorite sites is 9Marks they publish great articles, journals and books.

 

I read a lot of dead guys, preferably Spurgeon he is my favorite. I am learning to read more biographies too.It allows me to learn from the wins and losses of men who came before me. Why reinvent the wheel when I don’t need to. A great little biography I’ve read recently was on Samuel Rutherford.

 

If you go to my about me page there is a link to my Amazon wish list it shows you the kinds of books I am looking forward to.

 

As you can see my reading is sometimes rather diverse  and other times it is centered on one or two topics due to classes and the amount of time they take up. As I write this post I am getting ready for a class in systematic theology and another in the history of Baptist later in the spring. Can you guess what I will be reading then?

 

What about you, what types of things do you enjoy reading? What books, blogs or articles would you recommend for me to read?

Review of The In-Between by Jeff Goins

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In his book The In-Between  author Jeff Goins regales us with stories from his life about waiting for things. Things like getting married, having his first child, going to Spain, traveling with a band around the world. Hidden in these stories are some jewels, that make you appreciate the book even more. It is not an extremely long book, coming in at 174 pages. It took me about 5 hours to read over several days. I chose to read it at a speed where I could get the most from it and not just burn through it to say I read it. 


Since this book is not your typical reference book or the type you might want to mark up a lot. I did get quite a few highlights covering several sentences a piece.  


I love the premise of what Jeff set out to do with this book. Which was to make us stop and appreciate the quiet moments, the slow times we tend to overlook in an effort to reach the next stop. One of my first highlights is “Perhaps, the abundant life we’ve been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.”(loc. 157)


I often struggle to complete a whole book even when it is for class it is still hard. I was able to read this book in about a week or less. Jeff writes with a very conversational style, that draws you in. He has a way of writing that makes you want to listen.


Jeff makes a great point when he says, “Most growth happens this way: slowly, over time. You don’t see it happening—in fact, sometimes the circumstances feel more like inconveniences than opportunities—but then one day you wake up, amazed at how far you’ve come.” (loc.223) We never seem to notice how far we have come on our journey until we take the time to look back and see the way behind us.


Jeff’s book is chocked full of great insights, and I would love to share them all here, I won’t. What I will do is suggest you check this book out if you are trying to learn how to get more out of life. And find what you have been missing by skipping over the slower moments in life. “When it comes to waiting, we have a choice. We can try to bypass the delays to get immediate gratification. Or we can embrace the “long game” of life and invest those days, months, and years in the slow but intentional growth that leads to lasting change.”


What can you do to slow down and enjoy life’s moments? How can you accomplish this goal?

A Review of Michael Hyatt’s book Platform

0FB6589C-009F-4370-BE2E-140C52E81FD5Today we are going to be taking a look at Michael Hyatt’s book Platform:How to get noticed in a noisy world. This book is a moderate length coming in at 288 pages long and just over 60 chapters. Each chapter is 5-8 pages long give or take a few. Many of his chapters are based off of blog posts he has published on his website. I wanted to share this book with you because at this point in my journey it has been very helpful.

As many of you know I am trying to build my blog in to a place where people come to see Jesus in the midst of everyday life. From time to time I do book reviews either of books I have chosen to read personally or for class. This is one I’ve chosen to read for pleasure and it was definitely enjoyable.

In this book you will find tons of tiny little nuggets of great information. If you are trying to launch anything to the next level I would highly suggest you look into getting this book. The version I read was the kindle edition. So in my references there will be locations and not page numbers.

Hyatt give us a very simple definition, “a platform is the thing you stand on to get heard”. (loc. 297) That sounds simple enough doesn’t it. But it begs the question of what then is my platform? He spends the next several chapters outlining what a persons platform may actually look like. He tells us, “As in times past, success today is not so much about what you know; it’s about who you know. And the who is your platform.” (loc. 304)

So now we know our platform is not our product, our blog, or even our service. It’s people. Building relationships with people and serving them is one way to build your platform. He goes on to tell the reader, “If you want to build a platform, it’s time to get the passion back.” (loc. 417).

If you don’t push yourself and others to expect excellence you are doomed to failure. You need to be excited about what it is you are offering, if your not you may want to reconsider what you are doing. You want to offer your customer/client a wow experience. He goes on to list about 9-10 different things a wow experience entails.

After spending several chapters talking about having a wow product. He discusses the why? Why do you need to do this and what will happen if you don’t. We should set S.M.A.R.T. goals, and think of was we can achieve them. He says, “before you can find your way, you must discover your why.” (loc. 903) After that he gives five reasons why you should commit your goals to writing.

Later in the book he moves into a section on how to work with and use Twitter. I found this section to be very helpful since i am new to the twitterverse. He gives a great tutorial on how #’s work and just a great overall introduction to the outlet.

This was a great book for someone just starting out on their exploration into trying to build a brand. This is a book you need if you want to be a better blogger, businessman, or general sales person.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Especially to those looking for a place to start building their platform and brand recognition. I chose to write this review just because I have enjoyed so much of Mr. Hyatt’s work, not only this book but his blog as well.

A Review of You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

      This is not a book written for just anybody that has a dream of accomplishing something it was written to a particular “Tribe” as Jeff calls it. It was written to people who want to be writers and need that extra incentive to do it. Originally written in 2012 it has been revamped a little bit and had some edits made, Jeff tells us that in the introduction to this edition I have read. Jeff is a man who took a while to find all the things he is telling us about in this book. Such as finding his voice, building a platform and making relationships. You are a writer is not a super long book, it is actually 134 pages long. I am usually a slow reader, however with Jeff’s conversational style I read the book in about 3 hours give or take an hour. I read his work in the kinde edition so excuse me for not having page numbers.

    
     The very first thing I highlighted in the book was “Believe you already are what you want to be. And start acting like it.” (location 74). I think even though Jeff is writing to a specific audience this could bode well for any thing. I am working on becoming a pastor and this made me feel that I need to act like a pastor would now. And that ties into the next quote where Jeff says, “Before others will believe what is true about you, you’ll have to believe it yourself.”(location 165) What he is trying to say here and throughout the book is that you have to have a confidence in yourself even when no one else does. That is going to help you make it in what ever it is you are trying to accomplish. I love all of the positive affirmation that Jeff gives throughout the book. “You have to be yourself, to speak in a way that is true to you.  This is the next step to claiming your life as a writer— taking yourself seriously so your audience will too.” (location 252) Jeff continues to inspire throughout this work. He dispels the myth of good writing and eggs you on to become and effective writer. 
        If I can take away more than one thing from this book, I hope to remember “If you are going to succeed as a writer, you are going to have to learn to be smart. To have thick skin. To be more than talented.”(location 420) I think if you are going to succeed at anything you have to be thick skinned because there are always going to be critics. While this work is written primarily for writers I would recommend it to anyone who has a dream to become more than what they are. Stop saying tomorrow or in the future and start now. While I cannot call my self Reverend I can call myself an evangelist. 
What do you need to start calling yourself? How can I help you reach your goals?