Monday, 7 June 2010

The Plod

I am not sure if 'Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor' would have been read by many people were it not for the high esteem that conservative evangelicals have for Don Carson its author.  This book is not the biography of someone who had a vast ministry, and its subject is a person who would have shied away from celebrity.  However I would have this book as proscribed reading for all those who want to be involved as pastors in evangelical churches.

Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor is Don Carson's reflection on the life and ministry of his father, Tom.  It traces the hard work, prayers, study and tears of a man working with a small evangelical church in French speaking Quebec.  It actually inspired me to be enthusiastic about everyday ministry.

Ministry is generally a plod, whatever your ministry is.  Being a pastor can be difficult and, if you judge it by human standards, much of our time can seem unrewarding.  In his book The Call (a book I would recommend to all Christians) Os Guinness speaks of the Christian's need to to seek to preform for 'an audience of one.'  Guinness also quotes Oswald Chambers thoughts on the plod.  The plod that is so faithful demonstrated in the life of Tom Carson.

Chambers wrote:
We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through the drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus.  It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God, but we have not.  We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in the mean street, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Thanks for the recommendation of Carson's book about his father. It is a book that I've been interested in reading for about a year... I love the stories of God's invisble heroes. The Guinness book is one I've just finished because it is on the Arrow reading list. A book i've also just finished reading (again thanks to Arrow) is The Resilient Life by Gordon MacDonald. A book that is designed for those who are in ministry and are hitting the 40 years of age mark. This is an inspiring read.