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 or 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).
Praise for the book:
"Thank you, Michael Reeves, for writing this book, which I will be reading and giving away time and again! It’s difficult to imagine a better tool to put in the hands of young ministry leaders to complement the more formal side of theological training."
— Dane Ortlund, Senior Pastor, Naperville Presbyterian Church; Author, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers
- Authentic Ministry
- Union Publishing
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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.