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The Art of Pastoring

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Named one of the Top Ten Books of 1994 by the Academy of Parish Clergy! What should a pastor do? What makes a pastor good or effective? What is a pastor, after all? Hundreds of books, tapes, workshops and seminars promise to answer these impossible questions. Some offer a set of practical guidelines; others suggest a system or pattern to follow. Some stress various ministr ...more
Paperback, 180 pages
Published May 5th 1994 by IVP Books (first published May 1994)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  298 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Brandon Dobson
Great stories. Good book. I don't agree with everything Hansen discusses in the book however. Regardless, this is an eye opening read for someone considering going into the ministry.
Benjamin Alexander
This sounds like a pragmatic book, but it's not. It's very good and very encouraging for both pastors and laypeople to contemplate what exactly a pastor is and is to do. He has gems and insights here that are crucial to understand.. Please, I urge you, if you are a pastor/one in training/or lay person read this book and support your minister. The Church suffers because pastors are not supported (sometimes) to be men of reflection and depth--which requires prayer and meditation--time!
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2008, nonfiction, seminary
I appreciated that Hansen chose to use a format that focused on his own story, and not on some proscription for all pastors. His theology is very different from my own, and I might not have read this book if it were written as a manual, instead of as personal journey. As it was, I got a lot inspiration out this book.
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Thoughtful and realistic view of Pastoring. I find it one of my three favorite books on Pastoring. I highly recommend for anyone who wonders what pastors do or anyone interested in going into the ministry. The book is a good antidote to the managerial model prevalent. I find some of those books helpful but this book hits the essentials of friendship, preaching, and eternity before us.
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hansen shares how much love changes things and just how much love is the thing that holds the art of pastoring together. What makes it effective. Loving the Lord and letting that overflow into the interactions and lens with which we view other people.

I have read this book for the internship at my church, I don't have any intention of becoming a pastor myself. I do think that this book should not only be read by those poised for pastoring but for people who want to walk as an effective leader.

Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen is essentially a story of pastoral ministry. The author uses beautiful colours to paint an intricate picture of the pastoral vocation. This book is not your ordinary ‘how to do ministry’ book. It doesn’t tell you about new tricks and techniques nor does it export business ideas and adulterate pastoral calling. Instead, it steers away from pragmatism to a biblical vision of ministry. That is to say, pastors are meant to be a ‘parable of Jesus’. As Hansen puts ...more
Bob Wolniak
A fine devotional reading with some unique perspectives on the various roles, theology and responsibilities of being a pastor. When I went back over it after finishing, I noticed I had highlighted something on most pages. I didn't always identify strongly with some of his musings and experiences, but I'm glad I pondered his perspective(s), especially about temptation and how easily the pastor makes him/herself into an idol. The book is full of fishing analogies and experiences in the wild that a ...more
Josh Gatewood
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5. Hansen’s book is a good manual/memoir for pastoral ministry. Some of his insights are very good and the overall tone of the book is personal, friendly, and resonant with everyday life.

A few drawbacks for me personally were:
• The equivocation of entertainment with manipulation in Sunday services (a frequent offender in pastoral theology literature)
• The false dichotomy between entertainment and worship.
• No mention of the role of friendship in the pastors life
• Very little mention of hi
May 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life Changing Reading

Whether you're considering going into the ministry or just volunteering for your church, The Art of Pastoring is a must read. Hansen uses his stories and experiences to open the door of what it means to take on the pastoral ministry, and to present the ups and downs that come with it. Hansen's voice is soothing and comforting, yet it conveys the stern, theological conviction that made him such a successful pastor.
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not a “how to” or a manual, really. Just a delightful encouragement about pastoring. Maybe the best thing about it is how often you find yourself smiling because you’ve found someone who can commiserate with you and puts into words stuff you feel regularly in pastoring. Must read for pastors, others would likely enjoy it to.

Now...back to what Hansen says pastors are to be doing: being a parable of Jesus Christ; reading, praying, being a friend.
Loved reading this. The style is a bit meandering at times but all good rivers have bends! If you want "church growth" principles and snappy leadership soundbites, forget reading this. But if you want depth, spirituality, honest reflection and encouragement to keep embracing calling, then this is a timely read!
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book on pastoring I have ever read, and I have read it three times. I also gain new wisdom and insight every time I read it. This is not a how-to book, but the stories that Hansen tells will resonate with every pastor.
Nicholas Audas
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book for those whose hearts burn

Hansen presents pastoral ministry in a way that speaks the secret groans of our inward man, resonating beyond just the mind. A necessary book. The last 2 chapter and appendices are worth the price of the book alone.
Glenn Wishnew III
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: discipleship
Hansen is slow, prayerful and Christ-centered in this book which fittingly encapsulates the art he depicts.
Chris Huff
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: pastors, seminary students
In The Art of Pastoring, David Hansen gives counsel to pastors by telling his own story. It was a refreshing read. The book was far different from what I expected. I'm used to reading how-to books about being a pastor (how to lead with integrity, how to grow your Sunday School, etc). But this book gripped me from the beginning because it's nothing like that. I enjoy that sort of book as well, but The Art of Pastoring reads more like a friend telling a story rather than a professor presenting inf ...more
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Substance: 4/5
Readability: 4/5

I'm a seminary student and this was required for reading for class.

The Art of Pastoring is excellent. Though he is a theologian, Hansen is not writing a theology text. Though he is a pastor, Hansen is not writing a pastoral manual. Rather, he writes a personal memoir/journey discourse and invites the reader to walk with him in his pastoral journey. Instead of a discourse or manual, Hansen writes personal stories that themselves teach theology and pastoring. He goes
Oct 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing

This is a rerelease. There's a few things included in this new edition.

Pastor Hansen decided that pastors don't need another "how to" book about being a pastor so he used his personal experiences and tied them together in a "how to" book.

This revised book is divided into twelve chapters:
Holy Spirit

As you can see, each chapter deals with those specific topics with Hansen's life experiences as the backdrop.
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy memoirs and some parts of this I really enjoyed. Others, I found annoying. I especially enjoyed his chapter on Leadership. He served two different churches and he gave them permission to be different. They were each good at different things and he didn't try to mash them into what he thought they should be - or he had better luck when he didn't! Also his chapter on prayer - he described different types of prayer including more formal morning prayer, spontaneous and less formal wandering ...more
Jang David Kim
Nov 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite book on pastoring. After each chapter, you have to really sit back, examine your ministry, philosophy, and yourself. This book drew to pray and reevaluate many approaches to pastoring my congregation.

I recommend this book to people in ministry. Read it on your sabbath or read one section each day as you spend time with God in Word and prayer. David's honest journey as a pastor will refresh your souls. His years of wisdom and reflections will realign our hearts which are pron
Todd Hains
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a *must-read* for anyone going into pastoral ministry or seminary. It is so good to see such a focus on preaching and visiting. This is so dearly needed. Sort of an expansion of Luther's famous phrase in the Second Invocavit sermon: "I simply taught, preached and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mk 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends ... I did nothing; the Word did everything" (LW 51:77; WA 10,3:18-19).
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hansen's book is a refreshing reprieve. Unlike so many other books, Hansen writes as a common pastor writing about the living as a faithful common pastor. Hansen doesn't offer any quick fixes or strategies, but rather a return to the bread and butter of shepherding: prayer, contemplation, soul care, and preaching. It's a call that echoes Eugene Peterson's frequent call to the pastor: I was encouraged, strengthened, and challenged.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very simple book and well written. The author takes us down the path of lessons learned, experiences, and convictions birthed from his years as a pastor. Though I did not agree with some of his conclusions, I still found it to be a valuable resource for someone new in vocational ministry. His chapters 'Holy Spirit,' 'prayer,' and reward seemed to me to be his finest.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian-life
A really encouraging book on pastoral ministry -- "being a parable of Jesus". An honest, humble, down to earth, quite theological, very challenging and encouraging book for pastors. David Hansen manages to be both idealistic and realistic, both theological and (very) real life.
Andy Brock
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I greatly enjoyed the storytelling used by Hansen to offer some very sound advice to new and seasoned pastors. The first story told was worth the cost of the book. I was also happy to see that him and I share great respect for Eugene Peterson.
Mathias Seiwert
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“For “heart” pastors (as opposed to organizational pastors), this book is rich with practical insight for loving, guiding, and washing the feet of a small congregation. Oh that God would bless me to be such a pastor.”
Much too wordy. Hansen needed to get to the point. If he said what he meant and ceased using 5th level Systematic Theological terms, I would have been more engaged. Some good material but not one of my favorites.
James Tetley
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-books
Brilliant book focused on the attitude of the pastor and at its core what pastoring is all about. Being filled by the love of God, praying to Him, reading His Word and being a loving friend. Some brilliant insights and deeply encouraging.
Mark Boado
Oct 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
Brutally honest. Folksy and unpretentious book. Tackles the real hardships, joys, challenges and practicalities of the pastoral ministry. Attracts both lay leader and seasoned ministry alike.r
Ike Unger
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ministry
This book helped so much in my introduction into being a pastor.
Dec 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lots of good insights.
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