Last year I had the great privilege of attending the Shepherd’s Conference held at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. I was blessed to be able to sit under the teaching of such well known teachers as John MacArthur, R.C. Sproul, Al Mohler, J. Ligon Duncan and Mark Dever. I benefitted greatly from being challenged by the messages these men delivered. Yet I believe that the greatest blessing of the week spent in California was not in hearing these speakers, wonderful though they were, but in being in the presence of thousands of pastors. There is no vocation I hold in higher esteem than the gospel ministry and it was a profound blessing to be able to spent a week with so many of these ordinary men who have dedicated their lives to sharing and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Gospel Ministry, edited by Philip Eveson, is a book whose contents were originally messages delivered at a symposium on the gospel ministry in the present day at the John Owen Centre for Theological Study in London, England. Like the men I was privileged to sit among in California, the men who contributed to this book are primarily men who have devoted their lives to the ministry. Each of the seven chapters deals with a particular aspect of the ministry. Topics range from the biblical and historical basis of the gospel ministry to examinations of the role of minister as evangelist and pastor. Particularly convicting chapters deal with “The gospel minister as preacher” and “The training of the gospel minister.”
Perhaps the aspect of the book that most appealed to me was the fact that the authors are, by and large, ordinary pastors. These are not world-renowned scholars, but men who have had their understanding of the ministry shaped by being in the trenches. They are, first and foremost, ministers. This is not a book that has originated from academia or that deals with generalities. Rather, it is a book that comes from the hearts of pastors and that deals with what ought to be of great importance to other pastors.
The Gospel Ministry is a practical, accessible book. I am sure that it would prove a blessing to any pastor who chose to read it. I am glad to recommend it to pastors and laypersons alike.