Here’s our pick of resources for anyone starting out, or just looking to deepen, in ministry.
Faith is rarely found by individuals; it's given to them by someone who was themselves given it.
A lineage not bound by human constraints, becoming the person who is next to pass on a way to salvation can seem like the greatest calling of all. And that’s because, in a way, it is. But when that commission is your career, you’ll naturally feel a pressure to serve well. Stepping out into a lifelong ministry is an act of faith. Like faith itself, it is “taking the first step even when you can't see the whole staircase.” (Martin Luther King Jr).
To help you with each step, we’ve put together some resources that have aided the countless men and women in ministry who each live God’s love with everything they have. For the road will be hard, and there will be demands that you cannot meet, because “Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” (Corrie ten Boom)
All of these resources speak to different aspects of Ministry, from delivering sermons to maintaining financial stability. Here’s our pick of resources for anyone starting out, or just looking to deepen, in ministry.
The one book you can never exhaust, a good Bible will be the foundation of thought for all you do. And with a good study Bible, you’ll find keys for exploring God’s word in ways you can deliver as well as hold close.
What you’ll need from ministry resources is practicality, as well as depth. This has both. From esteemed writer and leader Tim Keller, this book lays out the meaning of ministry, why we are called to it, and how to best live out its commands. Ministries of Mercy is a roadmap to growing people’s engagement with Christ.
The most practical and down-to-earth book on this list, Self-supporting Ministry exists to make your Church not only sustainable but also to be nothing but a blessing to those whom it reaches. This common-sense guide will help you run an effective, reliable, and efficient ministry whilst also showing you where you can creatively grow and flourish. A must-read for anyone wanting a written mentor in ministry.
You will have heard this one-million times before, so let me make this one-million and one: ministry is hard. Harder then you will expect. And what will be of importance through it all is looking after yourself. Caring for your own faith, well-being, health, and relationships is part of what will get you through the demands of ministry, and will encourage you always to keep your eyes on why you started in the first place.
Where you will be most visible in Church leadership is the pulpit. It is where you communicate faith in a way that speaks directly to the people before you. This book from Tim Keller helps you bridge the gap between the powerful truths you know to be true, and the words you speak each week. You’ll be able to lead people to apply the Bible to their lives, and to grow in faith, thought and understanding of Christ.
It’s assumed by many that if you are the minister or leader of a church you must know everything there is to know about Christianity. Which means people will bring you questions. Lots of questions. And you could easily spend a month answering any one of them with great depth and wisdom, but sometimes a short one is needed. The Case For Christ, which tells of one man’s journey from atheism to faith follows along the same train of thought that many of the people before you will also follow. Reading this will help you deliver the kinds of answers about meaning and faith that people seek. Think of it is pre-approved apologetics.
Any Christian ministry is one that looks both upwards and outwards, and for said outwards portion having materials you can distribute will be of great help. Now, there are countless different tracts and leaflets that speak to a wide array of people, but sometimes it’s the central message that is the most effective. Why Jesus? and the NIV New Testament both share the Gospel in simple, clear, and powerful ways. And from there, the rest is up to you.
A little down the line weightings of growing your church and sustaining your church will shift. This book, based on the bestselling Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, will help you to guide people into a faith that is emotional sustaining, and with great depth and awareness. It is an investment into corporate wellbeing that is more effective the earlier you turn to it.
A book that radically shifted the ministry approaches of leaders the world over. Colin Marshall and Tony Payne’s exploration of the meaning and methods of ministry uses the metaphor of a vine and a trellis to illustrate the balance between the spiritual and physical aspects of ministry. Memorable and clear, it will give you a way to approach ministry with balance and wisdom.
Resourcing Rural Ministry by Jill Hopkinson & Simon Martin / City Changers by Alan Platt / Church for the Poor by Martin Charlesworth & Natalie Williams
No two churches are the same, and where you are will greatly shape your ministry. These books help to cover the broad societal spectrums that you will inevitably encounter in your work. Each specialised to differing demographics, they will help you understand and reach those you encounter every day.
Tim Keller wrote of the cost of ministry that “The gospel is the gospel of the kingdom, and unless we give our hearts to Jesus as king, we will have not given them at all. The ministry of mercy is expensive, and our willingness to carry it out is a critical sign of our submission to the lordship of Christ.” The calling to ministry is a great as the demands, and though these resources will offer significant guidance and help, they alone will not get you through it. You will need others, mentors and loved ones, as well as God’s strength through it all.
You can find all of the resources above in our Resources for starting in Ministry department.
March 22nd, 2018 - Posted & Written by Aaron Lewendon