The Pastor’s Soul
The Call and Care of an Undershepherd
David Murray writes in the Foreword: ’The minister’s soul is the soul of his ministry.’ I can’t remember where I first heard this saying, but I’ve never been able to forget it. And, having read this book, I never want to forget it. In these pages, Jim Savastio and Brian Croft establish the foundation of all faithful and fruitful ministry—the pastor’s soul.
But, although their main target is the epidemic of ministerial hyper-activity and the accompanying burnout, backsliding, and brokenness, they carefully avoid over-reacting and running to the opposite extremes of monkish withdrawal or lazy self-indulgence. Instead, you have a book that skillfully walks a balanced biblical path in both content and style.
It balances self and others. Yes, the pastor is all about serving others, about sacrificing for the sake of others, about spending and being spent for others, and about pouring out themselves to fill others. But, as many pastors have discovered to their cost and pain, servants are finite, sacrifices eventually turn to ashes, non-stop spending leads to bankruptcy, and pouring out without ever filling up ends in drought. This book reminds us that caring for self is not selfish but necessary if we are to sustain a life of caring service to others. It’s not a warrant for sloth or selfishness, but rather a call to self-care that will lead to better other-care.
…should be read at least once a year by every pastor as an all- important health check.
–Conrad Mbewe, Senior Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia
Croft and Savastio have written a desperately-needed volume for desperate times. …pastor, get this book and hear and heed its vital message. If you are not a pastor, read this book and learn how desperately your pastor(s) need your prayers and encouragement.
— Jeff Robinson, Lead pastor, Christ Fellowship of Louisville and Senior Editor, The Gospel Coalition
The Pastor’s Soul serves the local church and the local church pastor very well. … The balance of consideration for both spiritual well-being and physical health is refreshing as well as convicting.
— Anthony Mathenia, Pastor of Christ Church, Radford
About the Authors
Brian Croft is Senior Pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church and Founder of Practical Shepherding. He is also the Senior Fellow of the Mathena Center for Church Revitalization at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has written or contributed to over twenty books on pastoral ministry. He is married to Cara and they have four children.
Jim Savastio has been one of the pastors of The Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville, KY since 1991. He is also the President of the Board of Directors at Practical Shepherding. He is married to Becky and they have four children.