All of us are tempted to believe lies about ourselves.
For many pastors, the lies we’re tempted to believe have to do with our identity: that God has called us to lead a movement, that we must sacrifice our home life for our ministry life, or that our image as holy is more important than our actual pursuit of holiness.
In Lies Pastors Believe, pastor and professor Dayton Hartman takes aim at these and other lies he has faced in his own ministry and seen other pastors struggle with. With a winsome and engaging style, Hartman shows current and future pastors why these lies are so tempting, the damage they can do, and how they can be resisted by believing and applying the truth of the gospel.
“The lies pastors believe mask themselves as virtues to be achieved.”
Satan tells the same lies to every pastor that he told to Adam in the garden. If you wonder why some of your greatest heroes in the faith stumble and fall, this book will remind you that nobody is exempt from Adam’s sin, but thank God nor do we ever graduate from his gracious solution. Indwelling sin, and the power of Satan, are real. So is God’s greater grace.
—J. D. Greear, pastor, The Summit Church (Raleigh-Durham, NC), author of Gaining by Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send
Dayton Hartman shows great maturity in the way he addresses some of the lies that church leaders are tempted to believe whilst wooing our hearts with the compelling beauty of Christ. Read and enjoy. I’m certain you’ll be refreshed, challenged, and encouraged in your work for the Lord.
—Steve Timmis, CEO of Acts 29
I’m convinced that it is not only possible but in many cases probable that a pastor will give his life to a career rather than a calling. When this line is blurred, all sorts of deceptions arise. Dayton addresses some old sins with updated faces, unmasking them with the good news of the gospel, helpfully directing readers back to Jesus, the head of the Church.
—Alex Early, pastor of preaching and theology, Redemption Church (Seattle, WA), author of The Reckless Love of God and The New Believer’s Guide to the Christian Life
“The Bible talks about pastoring in terms of shepherding (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:1–3), and shepherding isn’t meant to be glamorous. The reason shepherding is such a perfect analogy for pastoral ministry is that it is often hard, unrecognized work for the good of those who may never thank you. The Bible mentions many shepherds, but it names only a few.” (Page 8)
“If you want empty sermons, make sure you and your personality take center stage. On the other hand, if you desire to serve your people a feast of truth, ensure that your sermons are full of Scripture, God-centered theology, and gospel grace. When we become focused primarily on what we have to say, we end up saying nothing at all.” (Page 18)
“Pastors (and future pastors), the way to win the war on lies is to speak truth, believe truth, and constantly be reminded of truth.” (Page 4)
“Your calling isn’t to fame; it’s to the difficult task of loving and caring for the sheep Jesus has sought and purchased.” (Page 11)
“Jesus doesn’t redeem achievers; he only redeems failures.” (Page 34)
Dayton Hartman is lead pastor at Redeemer Church in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He has a PhD in church and dogma history from North-West University (South Africa), and serves as an adjunct professor at both Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Columbia International University. He is the author of Church History for Modern Ministry: Why Our Past Matters for Everything We Do. Learn more at daytonhartman.com.