2020 ECPA Christian Book Award Winner for Ministry Resources.
2020 Christianity Today Book Award Winner for Church/Pastoral Leadership
2019 TGC Ministry Book of the Year Winner
Pastors care for a soul in the way a doctor cares for a body. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.
Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice—born out of his five decades as a pastor—that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit.
Drawing on a lifetime of pastoral experience, The Care of Souls is a beautifully written treasury of proven wisdom which pastors will find themselves turning to again and again.
This book is not a manual on church strategy, metrics, or leadership theory. It is pastoral theology at its best. Written from the heart of the Lutheran tradition, The Care of Souls draws on the classical sources of Christian wisdom and reaches out to the entire Body of Christ. Every pastor, and everyone who wants to be a pastor, should read this book.
–Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
Dr. Harold Senkbeil has distilled the wisdom that comes from long service in the church as a pastor, missionary, and seminary professor into this volume. His writing is rich and robust with biblical insight that has sustained pastors through the ages. His is a classical approach to shepherding that is attuned to contemporary realities. The Care of Souls will be a welcome companion to both novice and veteran pastors who take seriously their Lord’s mandate to faithfully tend His flock.
–John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission/Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
Excellent for personal reflection and for pastoral study groups, The Care of Souls is an invitation to a safe place where we can reflect on our ministries in light of the incarnate Christ and in His caring body, the Church.
–Dale A. Meyer, President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
Summarizing nearly a half century of pastoral labor is no small task. Distilling such extended service into a useable overview with a compelling narrative is quite remarkable. Making such a volume serviceably practical is truly noteworthy. Pastor Harold Senkbeil’s The Care of Souls informs and assists those entrusted with care of souls in the church by locating their service in the work of the Great Shepherd of the sheep and by sharing with us the gracious working of our Lord Christ in his own ministry. What a blessing this book is and will be for pastors!
–Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President, Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana)
“ He is guardian and keeper of all his beloved children. He guides you waking and he guards” (Page 215)
“So right up front, let’s start with this foundational definition: As a pastor you’re above all else a true servant of Christ and steward of God’s mysteries. Let that identity—that habitus—dictate everything you do and say in ministry. Then you yourself will be well served as you serve others in Jesus’ name.” (Page 26)
“Thesis One: All spiritual care is provided by God the Holy Trinity through his word in spoken and visible form.” (Page 92)
“Let’s get back to the root of the matter. ‘Radical’ after all has to do with roots. And here’s the root of the matter: When ministry is rooted in Jesus and his gifts, then that ministry will be all the more fruitful.” (Page 16)
“Thesis Five: Pastoral care focuses on enabling the soul to hear the word it needs in the context of its distress.” (Page 97)
Harold L. Senkbeil is executive director emeritus of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership. He is author of numerous books, including Dying to Live: The Power of Forgiveness and Sanctification: Christ in Action.