This book presents a bold and beautiful picture of the character and spiritual life of a pastor. Originally written by Derek Prime as Pastors and Teachers (1989), Alistair Begg’s contribution serves as an incredible enhancement to the book. Both authors of this revised, expanded edition of Prime’s work are seasoned pastors. And their wisdom is strewn throughout every page.
While it is a rich treat to be able to walk beside these men as they wander through what the Bible says a pastor is to be and do, it is an added privilege to be let in on the relationship that these men have with each other. At times, this reviewer felt as though he were transported into a living room with a warmly lit fire, listening to these old friends chat about the task that God had called them to give their lives over to.
While the book moves through the biblical descriptions of a pastor, it is laden with entire pages where it is either Prime or Begg writing, commenting on what has already been said, making current application of the principles in each of their own lives. In these special parts of the book (which occur throughout), it is the seasoned wisdom of godly pastors that readers are able to observe. Moreover, they speak as men who have lived out the principles they are writing about. It is not theoretical pastoral musings, these men are authentic shepherds who know their calling and want to discharge their duty to the best of their abilities, by grace. Most often when the writers interject their personal thoughts and comments, Prime is followed by Begg. The comments made in this order marvelously show forth a symphonic order, granting glimpses into the authors’ relationship, showing Begg like a student, carefully learning from his former pastor and mentor. Begg was Prime’s ministry assistant while the latter was pastoring at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, Scotland. The book shows how that early relationship made such an enormous impact on Begg’s subsequent life and ministry.
This book is not a manual about the nuts and bolts of pastoral ministry. It is about the biblical principles that separate a godly pastor from a mere professional minister, while offering practical tips throughout. Therefore, I would highly recommend this work to any pastor who is seeking to grow spiritually in his role as a shepherd, or any seminary student on his way to becoming a pastor. – Jason Sexton, Christian Book Previews.com
The calling to the pastorate is one fraught with perils and privileges. The urgent needs of the church often cause dismissal of personal soul issues. And he who isn't 'fed' will find it hard to 'feed' others. Alistair Begg and Derek Prime have been successful pastors and teachers of pastors for many decades. They challenge those who feel called to preaching ministry to a proper stewardship of life, a deeper love for the Lord, a personal devotional life, purity, and time for study and preparation. But most of all, they help future pastors determine whether they are really called to a life of ministry, warning that if one can avoid preaching, he must!