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On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work
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On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Calling and Work

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  414 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Kindle Edition, 298 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Moody Publishers (first published March 2nd 1989)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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David J. Harris
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: leadership
Informative and even more edifying. Saturated with pastoralness. This should not be a rare quality for ministry books, but unhappily they often don’t always come across as being punched out when the writers were accessing the pastoral part of their brain. This book feels more like sitting across the table from two wise pastors after having asked them the very best kinds of questions, and having several hours to watch them work through their responses.
Peter Jones
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I almost gave this five stars. It is one of the best introductions to ministry in the 21st Century that I have read. Several things set this book apart from others.

First, you have two men from two different eras giving practical advice on shepherding. You get a lot of "I did it this way." Followed by the other man saying, "But I did this way." By setting the book up this way the reader gets a lot of specifics, but none of them are presented as "this is the way it has to be done." The reader is
Patrick Hamblin
Strongly recommend this book not only for new/young pastors but also any potential elders in the church. This book strongly emphasizes the correct priorities of those serving the church.

The most beneficial chapters are the ones on delegation and on prayer.

This would be a great book to read as an elder team, a church staff, or in future leadership training.
Ryan Hawkins
Oct 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ministry
To begin, it should be made clear that this book is written by Derek Prime. Only later did they add Alistair Begg’s name to the title, and had him write a few side-note paragraphs every 4 pages or so (and changed the first person to the third person it seems). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s not mainly be Begg.

Overall, the book was okay. My biggest critiques are 1) it is out of date in many ways, 2) it’s very long-winded (classic pastor!), 3) some parts are less Bible-based and more
Thomas Duell
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was intensely practical. Chock full of anecdotes and examples from their own ministry, Derek and Alistair give a behind the scenes look at the day to day of their working lives. Not a one sized fits all book for sure, some will disagree with some of their methods but very helpful nonetheless.
Rex Blackburn
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very practical. I foresee myself revisiting this book if ever God allows me to be a pastor. I was especially encouraged by the chapters on Prayer, Study, and Family.
Josh Miller
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very solid book concerning the pastorate. I would encourage any one either considering the ministry or currently serving in the ministry to read this book.

I enjoyed the chapter on delegation and its importance for the pastor, the church, and the church members if a church is ever to grow. There were also many warnings about the danger of pride and its perils in the ministry.

Scriptural, practical, and insightful.
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book encouraged me upon the path of righteousness.It's definately one to own. ...more
Cory McArtor
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The authors balanced biblical teaching and practical suggestions for carrying out that teaching.
Dustin Walters
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prime and Begg provide pastors with a Biblical foundation for pastoral ministry. Years of experience and devotion to scripture alone qualify the writers to write a work like this. Derek prime offers insight from his British experience, while Begg draws upon his experience in Scotland and in the United States.

One feature I appreciated was that at the end of each chapter, the respective authors provided a response. Alistair Begg often expressed that he wished to attain the heights of Prime but ha
Randy Corn
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I was given at the Moody Pastor’s Conference in 2004, the first of the conferences I attended. I read through the book back then and thoroughly enjoyed it. I decided to reread it in connection with the conference this year and while I had intended to have it reread by the time of the conference, I seriously missed that goal. I did take it with me and had Alistair Begg sign it after one of the services.

This book covers all the ground that the standard pastoral theology does wi
Nate H
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Derek Prime is a minister in Scotland. He originally wrote this book for ministers in the UK. Alistair Begg came along to help update the work and provide personal commentary on each of the sections. Most of the work still feels tailored for the UK but Begg's contributions are helpful. There is a lot of good application of scripture to the work of the pastor. There is much practical insight into the personal methodologies of these two pastors. Begg seems more laid back while Prime is the magiste ...more
Nathan Parker
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has been a well-written resource on pastoral ministry. I especially enjoyed how it was written from a UK/European point-of-view, allowing me to gain a deeper understanding on how pastoral ministry takes place in the UK and Europe. The discussions on pastoral ministry in this resource are biblical, timely, and practical, and it is a book I would recommend to any pastor wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the pastor's calling and ministry. ...more
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most informative and practical books I've read on the topic of pastoring. I would recommend any pastor, or young man wrestling with the call to preach to get a copy of this book. I bought it when I first went into the ministry and gave gone back to it time and again through the years. ...more
Jason Hoke
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, If you are even thinking about becoming a pastor please read this book. If you want to encourage or protect your pastor read this book. Please don't use it to beat your pastor up, but know even when no one is looking your Pastor is doing most of this unseen. ...more
Dan Sudfeld
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Went through this book -week by week, chapter by chapter - with my assistant pastor. A very good book to work through and talk through. Prime & Begg do well to cover most of the issues that arise in this unique role of "being a pastor." ...more
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not Bad

There was a lot of common knowledge but overall it was really good. I would highly recommend it to the inexperienced and experienced in the ministry. A good start for those that are new and great refresher for those who have been serving for a while.
Reginald Detabali
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a piece from men who are sure-handed and sharpened in their understanding responsibilities and accountabilities in shepherding the Church. Here is a glimpse of undershepherd tasks and things to mind. I will definitely read this book again, Lord willing.
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Insightful and practical

This was an encouraging book. As a youth pastor with 8 years of experience and having grown up a PK, this book has a lot of helpful advice for pastors. The second to last chapter that deals with family priority in ministry is particularly helpful.
Richard Minor
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Derek Prime and Alastair Begg have written a great book on pastoral ministry. This book marries the theology of pastoral counseling with the real world application very nicely. It is also very practical.
Rafael Morales
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent book for anyone who feels called to ministry, of any kind, but especially to the pastorate. The authors share practical advice from personal experiences from their own time in ministry. No stone is left unturned in the life of the pastor.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Practical, encouraging, helpful
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really practical and helpful.
Michael Chen
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very practical.
Tomi Koho
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Outdated take on ministry with some insights

Many of the issues in the book are outdated and need revision. However it does contain some universal insights that are useful.
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great content. Covers a whole spectrum of topics. I really liked that woven through the book are snippets from the two authors' experience, one from a UK background and one from a USA background. ...more
Nathan Schneider
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pastor
Really helpful. Lots of wisdom from season pastors.
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Great in practicalities of ministry. Evidently written a few decades ago as there is a need to contextualise the principles and examples.
Brian Westerbur
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great resource. I read this upon graduating seminary, and I wish I had read it before starting. Still, a helpful read.
Josiah Young
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Biblical, practical, mostly comprehensive advice for anyone considering pastoral ministry. Well done!
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After serving churches in the UK as a pastor for thirty years, first at Lansdowne Evangelical Free Church, West Norwood, in London; and then at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, Derek Prime has devoted himself since 1987 to an itinerant ministry and to writing.

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