The Good Book Company
ISBN: 9781784989576
Price £9.99
173 pages

Eugene Peterson’s perceptive article The Unbusy Pastor has been a life saver for many church leaders, me included. I started my aim to be an unbusy pastor when I went to my second church, where I served for 23 years. The authors of this timely book have written a practical guide for pastors who want to be unhurried.

The first of three section is written by Ronnie Martin, and focuses on what church leaders need to remember if they are to remain grounded, unhurried and deeper as people.

Essentially this is a reminder to know God and to know ourselves. We are not “Masters of the Universe;” everything does not depend upon us, and, the work that so absorbs us now will more than likely carry on after we are gone.

No church leader should want the epitaph: “born a man, died a preacher,” therefore the reminder that we need to admire we are human, recognise our limitations and prayerfully depend on God is very welcome. I was also glad to see the section on hopefulness:

“What is stopping you from stopping everything in order to pursue the kind of hope that God promises to give his people, but which you need unhurried time to receive?”

The third section of the book, written by Brian Croft ,explores the things that promote an unhurried spirit: self-care, rest, silence, emotional intelligence and deep friendships.

The book concludes with a spiritual health plan for morning, afternoon and evening pit-stops that help a pastor keep on an unhurried course.

The problem with a book like this is how it lands in our lives. To the lazy it can be a licence for a quiet life, but for the conscientious it can be one more thing to add to an unmanageable to do list! To get the best out of the book requires readers to take a leaf out of Eugene Paterson’s book and move to the rhythms of grace.

John Woods is a writer and Bible teacher based in West Sussex. He is Director of Training at the School of Preachers in Riga, Latvia.