Some lessons can’t be learned in a classroom.
A seminary education is immensely valuable, offering theological preparation, spiritual formation, and wise mentoring. But many new pastors are discouraged when the realities of their first call don’t line up with what they came to expect from assigned readings and classroom discussions.
Bridging the gap between seminary training and real life in a local church, fifteen veteran pastors and ministry leaders offer advice and encouragement related to a host of real-world issues, such as leading congregations through seasons of suffering, handling conflict, accepting a call, leaving a church, and more.
C. Jeffrey Robinson Sr. (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a senior editor for the Gospel Coalition and serves as the lead pastor for Christ Community Church of Louisville. He also serves as adjunct professor of church history at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the coauthor of To the Ends of the Earth: Calvin's Mission, Vision, and Legacy.
Collin Hansen (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) serves as the editorial director for the Gospel Coalition. He previously worked as an associate editor for Christianity Today magazine and coedits the Cultural Renewal series with Tim Keller. He and his wife belong to Redeemer Community Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and he serves on the advisory board of Beeson Divinity School. You can follow him on Twitter at @collinhansen.
“Many come to seminary thinking that it will teach them everything they need to know for ministry, but seminary is the foundation, not the entire building. Some things are learned only through on-the-job training; which is to say, some things are learned only in life and in ministry. Hansen and Robinson have brought together a number of essays that convey the struggles and joys of pastoral ministry. They remind us that all successful pastoral ministry is a miracle, that apart from Jesus we can do nothing. Here we find words of wisdom that will help prepare future and present pastors for the road ahead.”
Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“What would it be like if you could sit down with a dozen or so veteran pastors who have learned from their own successes and failures? What would you ask them, as an aspiring pastor or other church officer? This book is very helpful for all who realize that seminary can’t teach them everything.”
Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California; Host, White Horse Inn; author, Core Christianity
“In the few years of instruction it offers, a seminary cannot do everything. Often what is missing is getting oriented to the relational things that come with ministry, something a classroom does not teach us. Here is a book that tackles those other, mostly relational things. It does so with sensitivity and wisdom. I commend this book for the heart it can give to your ministry.”
Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, The Hendricks Center, Dallas Theological Seminary