A short while ago I did a review here on Paul Tripp’s book, Dangerous Calling. By way of reminder, I said Tripp’s book contained good content, poor writing, and is an excellent resource for arrogant pastors that needed to be humbled and brought low. But Dangerous Calling is not a good book for weary and humbled pastors who need encouragement. Since I read Tripp’s book, I found a better one for pastors who need encouragement and refreshment in the ministry: Preaching with Freshness by Bruce Mawhinney.
Preaching with Freshness is different than most books on the pastoral ministry in that it was written as a novel. The main character is a pastor who has been at the same church for ten years and is feeling burned out, rejected, and worthless as a pastor. He’s not really struggling with deep, habitual sins; he’s simply tired and weary of preaching week in and week out for so many years. He doesn’t think he’s ten feet tall and bulletproof; he thinks he’s simply too tired and fatigued to press on.
I don’t want to give any more details (no spoilers here!), but I do want to note that the book does give practical insight into preaching and the pastoral ministry. In other words, it is not just a novel, it is a sort of teaching novel. As I read it, I was reminded of a pastor’s high calling and dependence upon God’s grace. I was also instructed in the area of homiletics – specifically writing and delivering solid, biblical sermons. At the end of the book Mawhinney outlines the different sermon methods he explained in the book.
If you’re a pastor looking for pastoral encouragement, you’ll want to get this book. It just might grip you as it did me. Or, if your pastor has been preaching week in and and out for many years, get him this book as a token of love. Though it talks about preaching, it isn’t “preachy;” it is a believable story that encourages and refreshes along the way. In fact, I even gave it to one of my elders who read it and thoroughly appreciated it. Basically, if you’re a weary preacher who needs refreshment and renewal in the ministry, or if you have a heart for preachers, this book is for you: Preaching with Freshness by Bruce Mawhinney.