For years people have been telling me that The Art of Pastoring by David Hansen is a great book. They said it really isn’t just for pastors but for any Christian who seeks to minister to others. They said it was not superficial but full of deep insights. They said the author, David Hansen, told great stories.
Even though InterVarsity Press published it a baker’s dozen years ago, I had never read it. Until now. What I have discovered is that everyone was right.
This is a book not so much about what you should do as who you should be. There is a settledness in the book that radiates a warm confidence in God and shows the solid places to put your feet in the climb of the Christian life. It is profound without being complicated. It has depth without being over your head.
Hansen calls himself a parable of Jesus, something all Christians are called to be–a way to get to know something that is not well known by way of something that is well known. He follows his call. Listens to the Spirit. Prays. Takes risks of love of God and others. He fishes, but he is not the fisherman nor is he the fish. He is the bait.
This refreshing book is meant to be savored. It’s a book to soak in.
Read it. Find out if you are a parable too.
One thought on “The Art of Pastoring”
I’m glad you’ve finally discovered this backlist gem, Andy. I made generations of new InterVarsity staff read this book — precisely for the reasons you named. (I especially love the way he suggests that the Holy Spirit speaks through the plans and notes in his Daytimer — blending world and Spirit and avoiding the gnostic dichotomies that often plague writers on ministry.) And, of course, he can turn a phrase nearly as nicely as Eugene Peterson.
(I also love the production howler in early (and current?) editions of the book: the backcover copy quotes Hansen speaking of a women named Maria. The interior copy (from which the quote was lifted) speaks of a woman named Rosa. (I may have the names wrong because I don’t have the book in front of me. Ironic, no?))
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