Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: The New Pastor's Handbook by Jason Helopoulos

Its funny, this is a book I started writing to myself about a year into my first pastorate. Of course it wasn't this very book but I realized one day, that if I could go back a year and have a chat with myself, I had a lot to say. Seminary was great and I felt well equipped. Growing up in the church, I thought I was ready for full-time church life. I knew I would still have some growing and learning to do but there were things I never saw coming. 

There were situations (which I would never discuss in a public forum such as this) I never thought I'd have to walk people through in my first year. There was a new normal to life and ministry that I wasn't really ready for. I think all of us who have stepped into pastoral life have similar experiences. Jason Helopoulos has taken those experiences and the lessons learned and put together the book that I wish I'd read my first year.

The book itself is made up of nearly 50 short chapters covering a broad range of topics. The chapters are short, most only 3-4 pages, covering one single topic. These short chapters are easy to read and digest in short blocks of time making the book very accessible. Reading through it there were things that surprised me and things that didn't. There were issues I hadn't faced and some I did.

Beyond the issues covered in the book, the suggested reading in the appendix will help you grow in many of those areas. I found that I had already read most of them and they were all ones I'd recommend.  

I do think this would be a good read for anyone who is, or is about to be, a new pastor. The wisdom found in these pages will make your early days a little smoother.

(I received this book from Baker Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own)