A Great Book for Ordinary Pastors

Okay, I turned thirty last weekend. So, I’m doing a little bit of introspection…reflection…and depression (just kidding on the last!). But seriously, this is a great time for me to take stock of my life as a Christian, as a husband, as a father and as a pastor.

The first book that I read in 2009 served me well in doing just this. Last night I finished D.A. Carson’s biography of his father’s life (Tom Carson) entitled Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. This book is simply a record of Tom Carson’s ministry, as his son has put it together through experience and sifting through journal entries (both in English and French as Tom served in French Canada).

I could not be more encouraged by this little book. Tom Carson was not an acclaimed author nor was he ever invited to speak at a conference, but he exemplified godliness in the pastorate (even as the number two guy at some points in his ministry). So what’s my takeaway? Let me give you a few things:

1. I never want to gague my ministry by numbers.
2. I never want to stop praying
3. I never want to stop soaking up God’s word, for myself.
4. I never want to stop loving my wife. (One chapter is dedicated to Tom’s wife Marge and her Alzheimer years)
5. I never want to lose sight of the joy of long, slow, happy work in the field God has given me.
6. I never want to neglect my children
7. I never want to feel sorry for myself again.
8. I never want to put anything past the God who is in the heavens and does as he pleases.
9. I do want to start journaling.
10. I do want people to see God in me…as someone who knows the God of Psalm 16:11– “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy and at your right hand, pleasures forevermore!”

This is an abbreviated list. To summarize, I need God, more than I ever have. Thank you Dr. Carson for encouraging at least one ordinary pastor!


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