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Handle That New Call With Care: Accepting Or Declining a Call To a New Congregation (Campbell)

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Day One Publications

‘Should I stay put or should I move on to another sphere of pastoral ministry?’

How frequently a minister may find himself asking this question—and how much does he have to strive in prayer to discern the mind of God who has called him with a holy calling to shepherd his church! Of course, the assumption of the question is that there is a call being extended to a new pastorate. Some men find that they have to wrestle with the question whether they should leave the pastorate altogether—either for a different ministry or in order to retire or to take up some other kind of work.

This helpful little book examines the principles for accepting or declining of a call to a new pastorate and examines them in the light of the Bible, the history of the church and God’s providence.



David Campbell was born and grew up in Scotland. In 1987, after studying for four years at the Free Church of Scotland College in Edinburgh, he became the pastor of the Geneva Road Evangelical Baptist Church in Darlington, England. Since 2002 he has been Senior Pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He is the author of several books published by Day One including Opening up Titus. He and his wife Mairi have two daughters, Megan and Caitriona.



"In this little book, David Campbell has dealt with a theme that is among the most important in any minister's life, yet among the least tackled in pastoral literature: what is a minister to do when a church calls him away from the congregation in which he is currently ministering? By looking at ministerial biographies, David has gleaned important principles and suggestions to guide a minister in this most crucial of all dilemmas. By drawing on his own experience and that of others, he has written a book which will be of immense value in helping ministers recognise God's leading in their lives."  — Rev Dr Iain D Campbell, Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis, UK

"Pastor Campbell has made a significant contribution to us all with this fine book. The entire area of a pastor considering whether he should accept a call to another pastoral charge, thus leaving his own flock, is a complex matter which contains a veritable mass of issues and can be one of the most difficult experiences through which a man and his church can go. This work examines a host of considerations without giving simplistic guidance. There are questions for the man to face on a number of levels - his own spiritual livelihood, his gifts, his experience, his family, the church he is leaving, and, of course, the church to which he would consider moving. David Campbell's treatment will be a great blessing to men and churches facing this complicated and emotional time in their lives." — Rev Robert B. Selph, Senior Pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Taylors, South Carolina

"At many points I found myself in David Campbell’s book. The quotations from pastors who left a much-loved congregation were especially touching. But I expect that the greatest value of this book will be for those who are contemplating a move. The advice is theologically solid and salted with the wisdom of experience. I believe every pastor should read this book and then keep it for the day he may need it. I also commend this book to church members as it may help them to understand why pastors sometimes move from one church to another."  — Rev Gordon Taylor, Coordinator, Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America

"Biblical principles joined to wise counsel and illustrated from Christian biography are the nuts and bolts of this much-needed book. Those who seek ironclad formulas for resolving vexing questions of guidance will be disappointed. Those who are looking for balanced perspectives on the issues addressed will be thankful to David Campbell for his labours. The author has mined deeply and extensively in the field of Christian biography. In doing so, he has unearthed rich treasures of godly wisdom, telling illustrations and helpful cautions for any who are wrestling with the question, 'Shall I accept a call to another sphere of ministerial labour?' I trust the book will be widely read and its wisdom heeded."  — Albert N. Martin, former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Montville, New Jersey, USA