The New Pastor’s Handbook is a great new resource by Jason Helopoulos. It is an easy read that I was able to get through in a very short amount of time, which for me was in under a week while only picking it up 3-4 times to read. The book is not super long even coming in at 200 pages and four sections focused on differing aspects of ministry. I will be the first to admit when I picked this book up I was skeptical of it, but once I started reading it, there was hardly a want in me to put it down.
One thing I really appreciated about this book was the brevity and sincerity of each chapter. If one wanted to take their time and read through this book, it could be read as a devotional, by reading one chapter a day for 48 days. It would be hard for a reader to put this book down once it was picked up. Jason gives real life examples that guide the reader on a tour of pastoral ministry, for those who are in the pastorate and for those like me who are in seminary desiring to enter the world of vocational ministry. He dedicates a few chapters to the various types of pastoral ministry one may enter into from solo/senior pastor, associate/assistant pastor, or youth pastor. For each stage he offers sound advice, then he moves into the meat of the book
I found myself highlighting or marking on at least every few pages. There were hardly any chapters in the book in which I did not find something helpful or memorable. In chapter ten which he titled Strain Your Eyes, he offers suggestions about reading how much to do and the types of material to read. In chapter fifteen he talks about leadership, and how “Though a leader is marked by confident conviction, this does not imply that he is unwilling to listen to advice or differing opinion or even to change course. Rather it means he leads by the convictions the Lord has given him until convinced otherwise.”(pg. 85).
The New Pastor’s Handbook is full of great insights like the ones listed above. I highly recommend this book for anyone doing ministry vocationally. I was given a copy of this work from the published in exchange for a fair and balanced review, I was not obligated to give a positive review of the book.