A while back, I blogged about a book on visiting the sick by a faithful Louisville pastor I know named Brian Croft. It’s a delight to share with you that Brian has written another practical ministry book on the external call to ministry. It’s entitled Test, Train, Affirm & Send into Ministry (DayOne, 2010). It comes with a foreword by Al Mohler and endorsements by folks like Tom Schreiner, Thabiti Anyabwile, Donald Whitney, David Platt, and Jim Hamilton.
Some of you know that DayOne has a heart to help God’s churchmen learn the basics of pastoral ministry. There’s really no other publisher doing exactly what they do. They have published valuable works on such topics as counseling, comforting mourners, and teaching prayer. Grounded in a brief but thick biblical theology of shepherding, Brian’s newest book fits nicely in this stream as he combines clear prose, wise counsel, personal anecdotes, and biblical insight to inform our understanding of what it looks like for a local church to send a future pastor into the field of ministry.
The detailed process is unclear, yet it is clear where the responsibility falls. God has called out a people for salvation from every tribe, tongue, people and nation to build his kingdom and to display his glory to the nations. Although God uses many people and organizations to accomplish many purposes, the authority and responsibility given by God for building his kingdom and displaying his glory rest solely upon his redeemed people within the context of the local church. God has divinely ordained the local church to grant the external call to an individual seeking the call of God. May our individual local churches and our leaders within be awakened to feel the weight of this responsibility so that they will take hold of it and hold it fast to the end.
Finally, you should also know that Brian has a new blog up called Practical Shepherding on which he dispenses the same blend of clear, biblical, empathetic pastoral wisdom. Check that blog out. The blog features what a number of my good friends have experienced in person in the church Brian leads, namely, careful guidance and godly wisdom.
What a joy to see the Lord raise up a movement of practically minded pastors who do not shy away from teaching about the nuts and bolts of ministry and who ground that absolutely essential work in a rich understanding of the Word and the gospel of Christ.