About the Authors
Rob Ventura is a pastor of Grace Community Baptist Church in Cumberland, Rhode Island. Jeremy Walker is a pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church in Crawley, England.
What does a true pastor look like, and what constitutes a faithful ministry? How can we identify the life and labors of one called by God to serve in the church of Jesus Christ? To address these questions, Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker examine how the Apostle Paul describes his pastoral relation to the people of God in Colossians 1:24-2:5. By discussing these essential attitudes, qualities, and characteristics of a faithful minister of Christ, A Portrait of Paul provides gospel ministers an example of what they should be, and demonstrates for churches the kind of pastors they will seek if they desire men after God's own heart. Chapters in Book: 1. The Joy of Paul's Ministry 2. The Focus of Paul's Ministry 3. The Hardships of Paul's Ministry 4. The Origin of Paul's Ministry 5. The Essence of Paul's Ministry 6. The Subject of Paul's Ministry 7. The Goal of Paul's Ministry 8. The Strength of Paul's Ministry 9. The Conflict of Paul's Ministry 10. The Warnings of Paul's Ministry Churches looking for a pastor will find guidance in what a faithful man of God will look like. Christians looking for a church will find a tool by which they can assess the pastors of the flock in the light of God's Word, finding men to whom they can commit the care of their souls. Christians already in a church will be better equipped to pray for their pastors and will further understand what it really means to be shepherded by a man after God's own heart. Ministerial students pursuing the work of the ministry will see a picture of a man they should seek to imitate. Pastors will be encouraged to persevere in the high calling of gospel ministry.
As a book reviewer, I do not have much to really critique since the book is an exposition of Colossians 1:24-2:5. Ventura and Walker strike at the heart of what is wrong with so much in the pastoral ministry today quite simply because so many of the pastors in the ministry are not following God's word for pastors. A Portrait of Paul, while about the apostle Paul is extremely Christo-centric in its approach and application. In other words, when Christ says, "I am the vine and you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing" (emphasis added), He means it-especially for pastors.
As a pastor, I needed this book. There were sections I read which brought me to tears as I realized just how frail and unbiblical a pastor I am. While it may surprise some to hear that a pastor is not perfect (some pastor's actually suffer from a "God-complex!"), I can readily admit that I have much room for improvement. Especially when compared to the "job description" laid out for us by Paul in Colossians 1:24-2:5.
If you are a pastor, please pick up this book. If you are thinking about going into the ministry, this book is an must read-you may quickly learn that the pastoral calling is not for you! If you have a pastor, pick up a copy today and give it to them. We are indebted to Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker for writing this book. While many may not read Baxter's Reformed Pastor because it was written so long ago by a (gasp!) Puritan that it can't possibly speak to us today, they would readily pick up this book given its "modern" take on the ministry. In so doing, they will be the greater for it and the congregation in which they are the undershepherd will reap the benefits