Encouragement for Today’s Pastors
Help from the Puritans
The Scriptures advise us to learn from examples of faithful ministers (Heb. 13:7). The Puritans were a group of such ministers whose teaching and living can be particularly encouraging to troubled and discouraged pastors today. They were steadfast in adhering to Scripture as the Word of God, in confessing the great truths of the Reformed faith, and in applying sound doctrine to the problems of life in an age and culture nearly as challenging as our own.
In Encouragement for Today’s Pastors, Joel R. Beeke and Terry D. Slachter examine the writings of these pastors of a bygone era consider how they can help struggling pastors today. Here pastors will find a helping hand, reminding them of the importance of cultivating personal piety, resting in God’s sovereignty recovering clarity in their calling, discovering means of support God provided, recognizing the dignity of their office, and taking comfort in grace and glory to come.
About the Authors
Joel R. Beeke is president and professor of systematic theology and homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary and a pastor of the Heritage Netherland Reformed Congregation, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Terry D. Slachter is the executive director of Project Philip, a ministry that helps equip local churches to fulfill the great commission through Bible distribution and discipleship materials, and served in parish ministry for over 25 years in the Christian Reformed Church.
Table of Contents
- Zeal for the Ministry of the Word
- “In Sweet Communion, Lord, with Thee”
- Encouraged by God’s Promises
- God Gives the Increase
- Submission to God’s Will
- Taking Heed to Doctrine
- Practicing what is Preached
- The Calling of the Shepherd
- History and Science
- The Communion of Saints
- A Cloud of Witnesses
- “One Among a Thousand”
- Doing the Work of Angels
- The Urgency and Importance of Preaching the Word
- The Reward of Grace
- The Glories of Heaven
“As the fresh sea breeze, these Puritan mentors refresh our senses as they discuss the office, calling, and blessing of pastoral ministry. This small compendium contains more useful guidance than some whole seminary curriculae. Any pastor seeking wisdom, any pastor needing fuel should turn to these godly and biblical counselors. Their ideas, as well as passion, are needed now more than ever. It is so refreshing to hear from real experts, proven pastors—not the hirelings. Like eavesdropping on a Roundtable of worthies, this conversation is priceless (and not overpriced!). Drink from this well often; it will help your flocks, along with their shepherds. I commend this heartily to all our friends and the next generation of pastors.”
-— David Hall, pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church of America, Atlanta, Georgia
“There are men in the church of Jesus Christ who are not mighty preachers or evangelists, but are outstanding servants of the Lord because of their God-given ability to visit a congregation and spread encouragement. The very news of their coming can lift the spirits of a church with anticipation and then their actual ministries, both privately and publicly, can renew the aspirations of young and old in Christ. Full of faith and the Holy Spirit, these people are the means under God of building up the morale of wilting congregations, giving them courage and making God’s people feel they can stand, and they can go on, and that they will indeed overcome a time of heaviness.
Such Christian leaders are inspirational men and their ministries make people feel strong. Of course it is God who gives such gifts to them to do this. The same Spirit that came upon Barnabas and made him a son of encouragement is upon them, and hundreds like them in our day. But as in all the stewardship of preaching and pastoral graces, such a gift needs to be refined, educated, and stirred up. This is one of the grand benefits that comes from the careful and prayerful reading of this book. You owe it to the people of God to become a son or daughter of encouragement. It is an exercise of Christian prudence, and an energizing ministry of the Spirit of God to do this in you and through you to the body of Christ.”
-— Geoff Thomas, pastor of Alfred Place Baptist Church, Aberystwyth, Wales