Pastors care for a soul in the way a doctor cares for a body. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.
Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice—born out of his five decades as a pastor—that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit.
Drawing on a lifetime of pastoral experience, The Care of Souls is a beautifully written treasury of proven wisdom which pastors will find themselves turning to again and again.
Table of Contents:
Foreword by Michael Horton
The Pastoral Craft: One Farm Boy’s Story
What Is a Pastor? The Classical Model
The Word of God: Ministry’s Source and Norm
The Cure of Souls: Attentive Diagnosis
The Cure of Souls: Intentional Treatment
Sheep-Dogging and Shepherding: The Noble Task
Guilt and Shame
Holiness and the Cure of Souls
Drawing Near to God: Proximity and Holiness
Invisible Powers: Spiritual Warfare
Christ’s “Other Sheep”: Mission and the Care of Souls
The Shepherding of Shepherds
Always Be Steady: Equilibrium in Ministry
Joy in Office
Harold L. Senkbeil is an Executive Director of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership.
"This book is not a manual on church strategy, metrics, or leadership theory. It is pastoral theology at its best. Written from the heart of the Lutheran tradition, The Care of Souls draws on the classical sources of Christian wisdom and reaches out to the entire Body of Christ. Every pastor, and everyone who wants to be a pastor, should read this book." – Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture
"Dr. Harold Senkbeil has distilled the wisdom that comes from long service in the church as a pastor, missionary, and seminary professor into this volume. His writing is rich and robust with biblical insight that has sustained pastors through the ages. His is a classical approach to shepherding that is attuned to contemporary realities. The Care of Souls will be a welcome companion to both novice and veteran pastors who take seriously their Lord’s mandate to faithfully tend His flock." – John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission/Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN
"Excellent for personal reflection and for pastoral study groups, The Care of Souls is an invitation to a safe place where we can reflect on our ministries in light of the incarnate Christ and in His caring body, the Church." – Dale A. Meyer, President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
"Summarizing nearly a half century of pastoral labor is no small task. Distilling such extended service into a useable overview with a compelling narrative is quite remarkable. Making such a volume serviceably practical is truly noteworthy. Pastor Harold Senkbeil’s The Care of Souls informs and assists those entrusted with care of souls in the church by locating their service in the work of the Great Shepherd of the sheep and by sharing with us the gracious working of our Lord Christ in his own ministry. What a blessing this book is and will be for pastors!" – Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President, Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana)