I think most pastors and those in ministry are blindsided within the first year of ministry. No seminary class can prepare you for the cold reality that God calls pastors to live. Yet, no seminary class or leadership book or training can fittingly explain the joys that come with ministry. Ministry is the realm of some of the greatest joys in life and some of the deepest pain and sorrow.
Pastors need grace to shepherd with grace. That is the heart of Lee Eclov’s little book, Pastoral Graces. For eleven chapters weary and/or rookie shepherds get to listen in as a seasoned pastor shares his reflections on over 30 years of pastoral ministry. At times the reader is strongly exhorted and other times he is warmly comforted. Through every page you know that you are hearing words of grace from a God-besought pastor.
I have been doing ministry now for over 10 years. (Hard to believe, since I’m only 31, but I feel 45). One of the things that I have learned in ministry is that I need to surround myself with those that will sharpen me theologically. But that is never enough. God has also graced the church with those that are far more astute in what might be termed practical theology. Lee Eclov is one of these pastors.
I imagine if I spent an afternoon with Pastor Eclov that we would probably have a few theological differences. But I also am confident that I would leave that afternoon a better pastor and a better man. Experience and grace flows from his pen. I benefited in the days I spent listening in on his reflections of a lifetime of caring for souls.
You will benefit too. This is a book that most all pastors ought to get. Whether you are seasoned but weary or a novice you will be confronted by grace as you flip through these pages. Eclov stands in the line of great pastors that continue to exhort other pastors to “shepherd the flock of God”.