Pastoral work is never easy, but in my experience it’s especially hard when you are first starting out. You’re not sure what to spend your work week doing. You haven’t been given a clear job description. As a result, you can end up wasting a lot of time and wondering if you’re being faithful to the calling God has on your life.
Recently, I was given Jason Helopoulos’ book, The New Pastor’s Handbook: Help and Encouragment for the First Years of Ministry. Based on what I’ve read so far, it seems like an excellent resource for the new pastor. It is split up into five parts which cover 48 different topics in total! A lot is packed into this book, but each chapter is only a few pages long, which makes it easily accessible.
A chapter that stands out to me is entitled, Your Early Ministry Focus. In this chapter, Helopoulos emphasizes the importance of young pastors knowing their English Bibles. Recent Seminary grads can be engulfed in Greek and Hebrew, but the main text you will be working with in preaching and discipleship is the English text, so make sure you know it inside and out. He says,
It is the word of God that we must know. It alone gives life to our people. We have nothing to offer if we are not grounded on, saturated with, and focused on the truth of God’s Word.
This was such a convicting word for me to hear. How often do I neglect careful study of my Bible? More than I’d like to admit. So to those new pastors, don’t be stressed out by a lack of job description. Instead, read and study your Bibles, so that you will be ready to feed your people the Word of God.