The New Pastor's Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry

The New Pastor's Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry


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Most seminary graduates will begin their ministries with plenty of important head knowledge to share—but with a deficit of some of the most practical aspects of doing ministry, such as

- which ministry role most suits them
- how to start out strong at a new church
- persevering during difficult seasons of ministry
- leading meetings and delegating tasks
- safeguarding their family
- fighting discouragement, pastor envy, and a lack of contentment
- navigating special ministry needs, such as hospitals, weddings, and funerals
- and much more

Through his hard-won wisdom, Jason Helopoulos comes alongside new pastors as a trusted friend and mentor, ready to guide them through their first years of ministry with intelligence and compassion.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801018350
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Jason Helopoulos serves as the senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan. He regularly contributes to Tabletalk, the Gospel Reformation Network, the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, and The Gospel Coalition. Jason has also authored A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home, The New Pastor's Handbook, Let the Children Worship, and These Truths Alone: Why the Reformation Solas Are Essential for Our Faith Today. He serves on the boards of Twin Lakes Fellowship, the Gospel Reformation Network, and the Malawi Reformation Network. Jason and his wife, Leah, have two children—Gracen and Ethan. He is an avid fan of the world-champion Chicago Cubs and the less-than-champion Chicago Bears.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ligon Duncan 11

Acknowledgments 17

Opening Words: A Holy Calling 19

Part 1 The Beginning

1 What Is a Call? 25

2 How Do You Know Whether You Are Called? 28

3 Candidating 32

Part 2 Starting Out Strong

4 As a Senior or Solo Pastor 39

5 As an Assistant Pastor 42

6 As a Youth Pastor 46

7 As a Church Planter 50

Part 3 Encouragements

8 The Secret and Simplicity of Ministry 57

9 Your Early Ministry Focus 60

10 Strain Your Eyes: Read Often and Widely 64

11 Shepherd Your First Flock: Caring for Your Family 68

12 Know Your History: Learn about the Church You Are Serving 73

13 Personal Holiness Matters 76

14 No One Is Looking over Your Shoulder: Use Your Time Well 80

15 They Want to Follow: Leadership 84

16 Lose Control: Equip the Saints 87

17 Find a Friend 90

18 Trust His Means: Rely on the Word, Sacraments, and Prayer 93

19 Reading Scripture and Prayer 97

20 Slow to Speak, Quick to Listen: Listening to Your People 100

21 Ministry before Our Eyes 104

22 You Can't Do Everything: Busyness and the Pastorate 107

23 If You Pastor, They Will Come: Listening to Complaints 110

24 Silent Suffering 114

25 Thankfulness for the Congregation 118

26 Dual Purposes 121

27 Administration to the Glory of God 123

28 Leave Your Door Open 126

29 Weddings and Funerals 129

30 Hospital Visitations 132

31 Leading Meetings 136

Part 4 Pitfalls of Young Pastors

32 Beginning Too Fast 143

33 Idealistic Zeal 146

34 Discouragement 149

35 Taking Yourself Too Seriously: Substituting Self for Christ 152

36 Not Taking Yourself Seriously Enough 155

37 Here We Go Again: Theological Hobbyhorses 158

38 Giraffe Syndrome: Lack of Contentment 161

39 One Size Fits All 165

40 Devastated by People 169

41 Lecture Sermons 172

42 Illustrations and Applications Gone Awry 176

43 Iron Grip: Holding People Too Tightly 180

44 Pastor Envy 183

Part 5 Joys of Ministry

45 An Eternal Work 189

46 Confidant: A Trusted Position 192

47 We Get Paid for This? The Privilege of Ministering 195

48 Self-Knowledge: Getting to Know Your Sin and Yourself 198

Closing Words: Perseverance in the Ministry 201

Suggested Reading 204

Notes 208

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The New Pastor's Handbook: Help and Encouragement for the First Years of Ministry 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
chris-ho More than 1 year ago
Are you a young budding pastor? Or going to be one soon? Then perhaps you should strongly consider getting this book in preparation for your ministry. Jason Helopoulos writes as an older pastor giving sound advices to young and budding pastors. Helopoulos writes in short and succinct chapters each with a clear focus that can allow readers to read them along side the daily devotion. In the first section Helopoulos deals with an important area that all pastors have to undergo, their calling. He explains what a calling is, and is not, and how one should discern his calling. He also deals with the practical issue of how to choose a candidate pastor as a church elder. From that Helopoulos moves to explain the different roles a pastor play. He pulls out the important points of what is required from a youth pastor, or what is necessary for an assistant pastor. I found this helpful as most books on pastoral usually focuses on being the solo or senior pastor’s role. Next, Helopoulos gets down to the daily ministry of pastors. He gives helpful and practical advices to pastors, giving them reminders and encouragement along the way. This section will be helpful for any pastors. At times pastors will need some aligning from their work and this will be a good reminder for them. Thereafter Helopoulos talks about the pitfalls young pastors usually fall for. This is also another section that isn’t covered much by other books. This section will raise many points that young pastors should take special note. This will help them start well in their ministry. Laslty, Helopoulos talks about the joy serving the Lord as pastors. He ends of the book with a great encouragement to pastors. Although pastoral can be tough, draining and demanding, Helopoulos reminds readers that they are the ones who has been given the privilege to serve God in a full-time capacity and supported financially for it! All in all, this is an excellent book for those who are starting out in their pastoral ministry. Older pastors will not doubt find section 2 very helpful for your work too, but this book really seeks to serve the young budding pastors. Rating: 4.5 / 5 Disclaimer: I was given this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Kristi-Reads More than 1 year ago
I got this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I'm not a pastor. I didn't exactly go seeking out this book. I don't see me or anyone I know becoming a pastor. But, if I were to meet someone fresh out of Seminary School who thought his learning was done, I'd find a different church. Helopoulos acknowledges that a pastor's learning is never finished, never mind what a diploma implies. Even if not exactly relevant to mt life, I found the chapters interesting and the author humble. Definitely recommended for those looking to be spiritual leaders and teachers.
UpstateNYReader More than 1 year ago
Every new pastor needs a hand to hold onto. Often that hand will begin with a book. For me that book was Lloyd Perry’s A Manual of Pastoral Problems and Procedures. It was helpful and having the author at the front of the class gave it added meaning. However, it was written in 1971 and does not represent the 21st century church. Other books have been written to fill that need - including one by Jason Helopoulos. Though designed for new pastor, the book discusses 48 questions facing every pastor. The author begins by discussing the nature of a call, the practical issues that face all pastors, and ends with a few questions on self care. Some sections are dedicated to specific types of ministry (the solo pastor, the youth pastor, etc.). The responses are brief, maybe too brief, but certainly readable over a couple of months if one would read one entry per night. The eager reader could easily read two or three chapters each evening, a more thoughtful reader may want to take a longer time on each entry. With only 3-4 pages set aside for each issue, responses are of necessity brief. Some topics could be fleshed out with a complete book - but certainly no pastor or student has time to read separate books on each topic in the first year of ministry - perhaps over a lifetime. On the other hand, the pastor will want to flesh out his reading by locating and reviewing some of these larger works as he works and serves the people puts across his path. The book is not deep - but contains a great deal of practical advice. It will fit well into a Pastoral Procedures course in the Bible College; it might serve better as an ancillary text for a similar seminary course. It would also fit well when kept within reach of any pastor serving the local church. ______________ This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.