4 out of 4 stars
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Ministry work can be described with the experience of a trekking single mum when she carries her six-month-old baby at her back. During such a walk whether long or short, the baby enjoys the comfort of the mother's back without sympathizing with the drained energy of the mother. Well, you can't blame the child because he has not come to understand the pains of the mother. Pastoring is indeed not what you think. For many who are not in the circle of these ministers, they think Pastors don't have any personal interest in growing their finances, stable health, political ambitions, and desire for social life. Often, people see them as second God who is infallible and can't be tempted in their heart because of their closeness to God.
Pastoring is Not What You Think by Elijah Oladimeji narrates Pastor Job's struggle in ministry and personal problems. Married to Lorraine, he needs to give her a comfortable life she yearns for but money kept avoiding him like the flu. In church, he struggles with membership. The serious ones lacked in finances. Prosperity messages seemed to be constantly preached over salvation messages, yet there was no result to show for the miracles of the preaching. Not a way of giving out spoilers, when miracles happen, no gratitude is returned to the church for its growth. Rodriguez who was deported from the US back to his home country, Mexico, instead of paying his tithe from the temporal job told Pastor Job in his letters that he will like to have faith to pray for people even strangers as he kept telling him how he admired his faith. Pastor Job prays for others and they get healed, he counsels couples but has issues to settle with Lorraine about the unfulfilled promise of buying his mother-in-law a car and many others.
How did Pastor Job manage his work in Ministry coupled with the fact that he has a family to take care of, how will he answer the many questions people ask him about faith, finances, and relationships, did his life reflect that of God's servant, how will he sponsor church projects and tackle low turn up in church, will he be victorious at the end? These and more are what the story answers about Pastor Job and his ministry.
I love many things about the book ranging from teaching life principles, Christian growth, and everything about success in life. The author's use of simple language, characterization, plots, and themes resonated well with the title Pastoring is Not What You Think. By constant reference to Bible passages, it reminded me of some scriptures that I have forgotten and made me reflect on the ones that I have not read before. This ended up turning my reading pleasure into a quality time with God. I felt like I was in a church listening to a sermon in some of the chapters of the book. I love the realistic nature of the book because this story is not far from what is obtainable in our society today. People who aspire to enter into full-time ministry should be conscious that pastoring is not that rosy.
Despite the much effort put into writing this great piece, I found some leaks that could be corrected. The title of some chapters lacked suspense and was not captivating enough. In the story, there was more telling rather than showing what is happening in the story. I was not allowed to think out things on my own and get it wrong. Put simply, the story didn't engage my emotions through dialogue especially that of Pastor Job during all his sermon in church. There was poor paragraphing. There were errors in some of the Bible quotations that drew me back while reading.
It was a nice read for me and I recommend it for Christians and aspirant Pastors so that they will come to an understanding of what they are entering into. Although there were slight typos, I will give it four out of four stars.
Pastoring is Not What You Think
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