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Critque oF Stan Tolers-Practical Guide For Pastoral Ministry - Book Report/Review Example

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A Review of Stan Toler's Practical Guide for Pastoral Ministry A Review of Stan Toler's Practical Guide for Pastoral Ministry Summary `Stan Toler's Practical Guide for Pastoral Ministry is a concise, exceedingly practical guide to the nuts and bolts of pastoral work…
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, it contains real world advice on such disparate yet related subjects as preaching, ecclesiastical leadership, personal coaching and communicating with others. The individual spiritual maturity of pastors is at the heart of Toler’s writing. Towards this end he stresses the lordship of Christ in all areas of a minister’s life. He discusses how the pastor should behave in public as well as private. He also speaks to how the man of God should interact with his family, friends and acquaintances and the members of his church. Personal devotion, obedience and integrity are all strongly emphasized by Toler within the text. He sees a healthy personal walk with God as the wellspring from which an abundant ministry flows from the pastor to his family, his church and the world at large. In chapter one he outlines six characteristics of great pastors. He says that they know how to pray, meaning that they are fervent in praying and actively seek time alone with God. He also says that effective ministers have strong personal integrity. For Toler this means having the courage and humility to admit when one has made a mistake. He writes: A great pastor always speaks the truth and has the courage to correct his or her mistakes. The words “I’m sorry” aren’t pulled from their mouths like an impacted tooth. Great pastors take responsibility for their actions. They lead with integrity. (Toler 17) He also emphasizes that great pastors must be flexible in how they deal with practical concerns. They don’t take a “my way or the highway” attitude in dealing with church boards, elders or deacons, or laypeople in general. Also, they are effective team builders, have a sense of direction and a vision for the future, and finally they also demonstrate great commitment to their calling from God. Going forward from chapter one, Toler develops these important themes by detailing what the pastor should do in terms of marriage and being a father. Disciplining and relating to children, managing finances effectively and prudently, and being a kind and understanding spouse are all areas that he touches on. Toler shifts gears as the book progresses, turning his attention to offering guidance on the particulars of pastoral ministry. He offers suggestions for virtually every aspect of ministry outside the pulpit. He covers the basics of pastoral care, outlining how to conduct funerals, officiate at weddings and plan worship and evangelistic services. Personal evangelism, visiting the sick and injured, finding willing volunteers, and reaching out to absent and backslidden church members are other topics that he deals with. Toler changes emphasis once again later on, turning his writing to the topic of leadership. He notes aspects of historical leaders, discusses team building methods, and looks at ways of finding and developing congregational leaders. This section ends with Toler telling his readers how to deal with conflict and change. Chapter thirty six discusses means for bringing revival to a spiritually lukewarm church. In it Toler emphasizes a combination of personal piety on the pastor’s part with the use of effective methods for encouraging a revival of spiritual passion among the congregants. In it he writes: A twenty first century call to revival will utilize a variety of methods: a revival Sunday or weekend emphasis with an evangelist, a month long series of revival messages by the pastor, small group studies focused on renewal, a group outing to hear ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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