5 Books for Revitalizing Your Pastoral Ministry

Although pastoral ministry is a rich blessing, sometimes it can feel like it’s on autopilot. Wondering where to get fresh ideas if you feel like you’re merely coasting through? Hendrickson has five books this season for pastors who want to expand their leadership methods and revitalize their church ministries.

While some leadership books feel overwhelming and discouraging, these books seek to encourage pastors to keep fighting the good fight. Bringing in outside voices can prompt a new perspective without feeling the criticism that can come from pastor groups or disgruntled congregation members. Not sure what kind of boost you’re looking for? Hendrickson has titles that address all kinds of ministry needs.

  1. “I’m feeling weighed down by the heavy burden of leading a church.”
Avoiding Pastoral Pitfalls book cover

If this is how you feel, then Avoiding Pastoral Pitfalls can be a tremendous resource. As the leader of a church, you may find it difficult to know where to look for help. In this book, clinical psychologist Dr. James Osterhaus offers focused solutions to problems that you as a pastor may face. If your ministry feels like it isn’t going anywhere, Osterhaus suggests multiple new models of leading a congregation than can change up your ministry and move it forward. This book also serves as an instruction manual for surviving conflict, dealing with church politics, avoiding a growth plateau, and managing work-life balance. Whether you are beginning your first call, in the thick of dealing with a church crisis, or at the end of your ministry wondering how to gracefully leave your church, this book is for you. Avoiding Pastoral Pitfalls is a helpful way to energize your leadership and renew your confidence in leading your church well.

  1. “I need new preaching ideas that interest my congregation.”
Preaching Difficult Texts of the Old Testament book cover

Let’s face it: Preparing sermons from complicated Old Testament texts is immensely challenging. In an ideal world, pastors would set aside hours for this kind of sermon preparation.  In real life, however, pastors don’t have the time to painstakingly glean commentaries on Old Testament lineages and purity laws for Sunday’s sermon. This is where Pastor Bryan Murawski can help. He has categorized some of the most daunting passages in the Old Testament into ten groups that include concrete methods pastors can use in their sermons. You no longer need to wonder, “How do I preach the Old Testament law to my church?” or “How do I preach about violence in the Old Testament?” After reading Murawski’s book, you will be left with a plethora of new ideas for preaching sermons on some of the most challenging texts in the Old Testament.

  1. “I want to connect my congregants to meaningful ministry.”
Equipping Christians for Kingdom Purpose in Their Work book cover

Your congregation likely spends most of their waking hours in the workplace. It’s important to them, and it’s where they have deeply invested in relationships with people who aren’t Christians. Tom Lutz and Hedi Unruh explore the idea that the workplace is an incredible place to do ministry. But what does this kind of ministry look like? Equipping Christians for Kingdom Purpose in their Work is all about specific strategies for doing meaningful ministry in the workplace. With the resources in this book, pastors and other church leaders can teach laypeople to see their careers as ways to build the kingdom and help God’s created world flourish. And what better gift to give to church members than to help them see how their daily work matters to God?

  1. “My ministry feels more like a job than a life-giving relationship with God.”
Practices for Working in the Presence of God book cover

When praying and studying the Bible is a part of your job description, it can feel challenging for these rituals to be heartfelt. This book, geared toward anyone who wants to implement spirituality into their daily work, is the perfect reset button for you when your professional ministry work becomes disconnected from your own spiritual life. Vanderwarker and Daniels provide just the change of scenery that allows you to connect personally with God. Practices for Working in the Presence of God provides deeper discussion of how to engage in the eleven spiritual practices outlined in Working in the Presence of God: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Work. A hybrid between a workbook and a journal, it includes questions and Scripture, guided prayer, and other helpful resources. Getting back into the practice of experiencing God’s presence can radically transform your ministry and refocus the true meaning of your daily work with God’s people.

  1.  “I wish I could hear constructive sermon feedback from someone in the pews.”
Intentional Preaching book cover

Ever wonder what your church members think about your sermons? Maybe you’re afraid that if you ask, you’ll be met with negative criticism. This humorous book is written by a seminary-educated layperson who desires for pastors to know more about what their congregation hears in the pews on Sunday mornings. But don’t worry! It’s positive, constructive, and insightful. Full of short, manageable anecdotes that give preachers a new lens for viewing their sermons, Intentional Preaching is genuinely enjoyable to read. Walters includes ideas to keep church members engaged, as well as tips for effectively addressing congregations. It’s lighthearted and full of humor—an uplifting way to revitalize your sermon preparation!

Hannah Terenzoni is the academic marketing manager of Hendrickson Publishers. She lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts, where she received her MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves reading literary fiction, discovering small New England towns, and hiking through the White Mountains in New Hampshire.

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