Where does authentic ministry lie? The answer of this books is: in the heart. Authentic ministry is not simply a matter of mastering professional skills or of endlessly pouring oneself out in works of service. Rather, it springs from joyful union with the heart of Christ.
Authentic Ministry offers practical guidance and spiritual nourishment for all who desire to serve from the heart. Each of the nine chapters orients readers to the "one thing [that] is necessary" (cf. Luke 10:42}—abiding in Christ—whilst asking and answering questions both simple and profound: What is prayer? How should I respond to suffering? Who is my friend? What is theology? What does it mean to love?
This short volume originated as a series of talks delivered to various assemblies of students, pastors in training, and church leaders in the UK and beyond. The book's style and content, then, are reminiscent of the author's in-person teaching. More than just a compendium of advice of list of helpful ideas, Authentic Ministry provides companionship and clarity for Christian minsters who truly believe: "out of the abundance of the heart, [one's] mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).
I love the vision that Reeves has for theological study and training folk for ministry. This little book is a collection of talks that expand that vision…and it is compelling! Written with his usual warmth, verbal genius, historical insights, and Christ gazing passion, this is a book that all theological students seeking to go into ministry should read. There is much to consider and ponder. The only snag to the book is that, as a collection of talks, there is a little bit of repetition. It would have been nice to have been more crafted for print. However, as always with Mr R – superb!
Ministry can easily turn into professionalism and hypocrisy can easily show its ugly head, but what if this could be prevented or if at least principles could be in place to be mindful of? In ‘Authentic Ministry’ Reeves points the reader to essentials to successfully serve in church. “The simple aim of this little book is to help you pay attention to yourself and so cultivate the inner fitness necessary for outward service of the church” This short book by Michael Reeves is comprised of a collection of talks given to his students at Union School of Theology. Reeves rightly starts with delighting in God as foundational to ministry, stating that we are made to delight in Him, and “so our ministry must flow out of enjoyment for Him”. The chapters cover a range of helpful topics to aid in ministry, such as love for church, praying boldly and relishing humility, but my two favourite chapters would have to be five and six (5. Esteem Friendship & 6. Grow Through Suffering), as I appreciated Reeves’ wisdom on these subjects. I also enjoyed the quotes from the Reformers and Theologians of the past that were chosen for this book. The likes of Spurgeon, C.S. Lewis, John Flavel, Richard Sibbs and others are sprinkled throughout, and if you haven’t read these guys, what are you waiting for?! The book is very accessible and can comfortably be read over 2 or 3 days and would probably make a nice gift for leaders or those in ministry in your local church. Even though the book has in mind those who are currently in ministry or embarking on ministry work, and therefore may be better suited to its intended audience, don’t let that stop you getting this book. I am not in ministry and found it of value.
“Authentic Ministry – serving from the heart.” Many of us preach on these things and there is a danger that we feel we know it all. This little book begins with a call to “pay carefull attention to yourselves” and so I read it with an attitude of allowing it to examine me. I found it both challenging and encouraging. The best book I’ve read in a while and I’m encouraging my fellow elders to read it.
Total Price: £1.99