Though Scripture is timeless and unchanging, the world in which pastors must minister is never the same. Pastoral Ministry in the Real World applies the enduring truths of the Bible to the pastor’s work in messy situations where the old categories no longer apply and typical responses are not always effective.
Wilson presents the nature of pastoral ministry by exploring its three major functions: loving, teaching, and leading God’s people. In the course of his wise exposition he does not avoid addressing the hard questions head on. What are the disqualifiers for the pastoral ministry? How should Bible-believing pastors minister in a culture that has embraced same-sex marriage? How can pastors help others without hurting themselves? How can pastors teach during seasons of conflict and lead the church during anxious times? How can they lead a church to change without destroying the church’s personality or their own spiritual health?
This excellent guidebook is a winning combination of careful research, personal ministry experience, biblical insight, and a broad understanding of how people are thinking in today’s world. I have read most of the classic manuals on pastoral work and written a few of my own, but Pastoral Ministry in the Real World has elements that are superior to them all. You will especially appreciate the section on Christ’s handling of the conflicts He encountered.
—Warren W. Wiersbe, author and former pastor, Moody Church, Chicago
Being a pastor is hard work—it’s a maze of urgent and sometimes conflicting challenges and opportunities, and young pastors need guides to help them. Dr. Wilson’s book Pastoral Ministry in the Real World is a guidebook for maneuvering that ministry maze, drawn on years of his own pastoral experience. Wilson deals with issues like pastoral care, teaching, and leadership, and he brings practical insights to each. I look forward to using this book with my own students.
—Michael Duduit, Executive Editor of Preaching magazine; Dean and Professor of Christian Ministry, Clamp Divinity School of Anderson University, Anderson, SC
The best books derive from hard-won experience on the ground. This is such a book. Jim Wilson is a pastor who knows his way around. The practice of your ministry will be enhanced by the opportunity to reflect on Wilson’s experience. Pastoral ministry requires knowledge, skill, and character. This book offers all three.
—Kenton C. Anderson, President of Northwest Baptist Seminary; Professor of Homiletics, ACTS Seminaries of Trinity Western University, Langley, BC
“The first rule of effective hospital visitation is to go.” (Page 29)
“This is not a ‘pilot’s checklist’23 to go through prior to takeoff, it is a general description of the Pastor’s lifestyle. It is descriptive language.” (Page 6)
“Pastoral ministry is not recruiting others to watch or help, but is equipping others to be ministers.” (Page 16)
“Ministry begins with an accurate diagnosis of the underlying core need, not just the presenting need.” (Page 21)
“love for the people, consistent preaching of the Bible, and the willingness to lead.” (Page xi)
Jim L. Wilson (D.Min, Golden Gate Theological Seminary) is a former pastor and is now professor of Leadership Formation and the director of the Doctor of Ministry Program at Golden Gate. He is an award-winning writer who has authored, co-authored or contributed to more than a dozen books.