Two Ways I Hope “The Pastor’s Book” Will Serve You

October 13, 2015

by Kent Hughes

We asked Professor Kent Hughes for two ways that he hopes his new book, The Pastor’s Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry, would serve pastors, leaders, and seminarians.

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First, I hope that it will serve as a dependable resource for enriching, shaping, and effectively conducting the daunting range of pastoral responsibilities that fall under the headings of Sunday services, Annual services (Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter), Baptism, Communion, Public prayers, Hymns and songs, Weddings, Funerals, Hospital visitation, and Counseling. Each section begins with a theological, gospel-centric rationale for its importance and practice before launching into the particulars. And the particulars are extensive.

For example, the section on Christmas services alone contains 34 select Christmas scriptures, 40 select Christmas hymns and songs, 15 select Christmas poems, an extensive Advent liturgy, 3 sample Christmas Eve services, and 4 sample Christmas Sunday services. The same format is followed for Good Friday and Easter.

The chapter on Funerals likewise contains extensive resources, including sections on

  • initial pastoral care
  • preparation for the funeral (a sample Funeral Preparation Worksheet)
  • instructions for conducting the visitation service
  • instructions for planning the funeral service (a Funeral Planning Worksheet)
  • funeral protocol
  • advice on conducting the burial service and graveside protocol
  • graveside orders of service
  • sample words of committal
  • military honors
  • follow-up with the bereaved after the funeral

The chapter also lists 42 select funeral texts and the complete texts of 10 sample funeral homilies. The Wedding chapter is similar in scope and concludes likewise with 10 full sample homilies.

My second hope is that the book will serve pastors to elevate worship in the growing number of churches that are “reformational” in outlook, but have not thought through how their theology effects gathered worship. Here the chapters on Sunday services, Sunday prayers, Hymns and songs, Historic creeds, Communion, and Baptism will, hopefully, provide rich wells from which to draw.

Kent Hughes

Dr. Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is professor of practical theology at WTS.

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