Help for pastors and elders to bring unity to their churches in divided times and to experience renewal in the trials of ministry.
Leadership is hard. Pastoring through divisive times is even harder. How do we lead well when criticized? How do we keep loving the church when hurt by her? What does it look like to remain committed to the gospel in cultural division?
Seasoned pastor Jonathan Dodson comes alongside struggling pastors and ministry leaders to guide them into the comfort of Christ. But he doesn’t stop there. Full of wisdom drawn from 2 Timothy, this book will equip you to lead the church with grace, charity, and spiritual power through divisive times.
Great for pastors and ministry leaders who need encouragement and insight, or are wrestling with their calling. Makes a thoughtful gift.
Jonathan Dodson is the founding pastor of City Life Church in Austin, TX (part of the Acts 29 network of churches), founder of Gospel-Centered Discipleship.com, and author of numerous books including Gospel-Centered Discipleship and Our Good Crisis: Overcoming Moral Chaos with the Beatitudes of Jesus.
Foreword by Dane Ortlund
1. Divided Times
2. Questioning Christianity
3. Redeeming Pain
4. Divisive Words
5. Lovers of Self
6. Preach the Word
7. Continue in the Faith
8. Grace to All
|Jonathan K. Dodson
|The Good Book Company
Endorsement written for The Unwavering Pastor
Pastors are facing discouragement and burnout at unprecedented rates, and the factors contributing to these challenges are complex. That’s why I’m grateful for Jonathan Dodson’s The Unwavering Pastor. This book brings a biblical wisdom and a surprising candor to helping pastors navigate the journey through the thicket of conflict, division, criticism, and even depression, always holding out the healing comfort of grace for the weary pastor’s soul. This is a really good book.
Endorsement written for The Unwavering Pastor
As exhausting, and often spiritually depressing, as normal ministry may be, the last few years press us to go to deeper wells. This book is a deeper well—a very refreshing one.
Endorsement written for The Unwavering Pastor
This is going to be a tremendous help for leaders serving Jesus. I recognize my own story here. Jonathan captured the emotional exhaustion, paralyzing emptiness, and spiritual confusion I felt when I experienced pastoral burnout at 50. Thankfully, Jonathan also gives us gospel balm and grace ballast. This short book is long on wisdom, grace, and timely encouragement.
The Unwavering Pastor is the latest book by author and theologian, Jonathan Dodson. One of the reasons I picked up his book is because prior to and and at the time of its writing, Jonathan was a pastor local to where I live. While I don't endeavor to be a pastor, I wanted to support a local one and felt that as a lay person, there is much I can learn from one.
In The Unwavering Pastor, Jonathan vulnerably shares many instances in which pastoring became increasingly difficult due to the time in which we live. Although the book's title includes the word pastor, there were moments in the book where Johnathan also addressed ministry leaders making this a really helpful read for all who serve in ministry. There were so many wise quips that really encouraged me.
Ministry is a joy but it is often discouraging too. The Unwavering Pastor puts the wind back in its readers sails by encouraging them to not grow weary in doing good. It provided such timely and necessary reminders including being patient with people and that serving in ministry is playing the long game. Of particular fascination to me were the instances Jonathan recalled from pastoring during the COVID-19 pandemic. I felt that reading about his experiences gave validation to my own for the ways that my husband and I, like so many others, struggled in ministry during that season.
In serving the local church, it is always encouraging to know that you aren't alone. On this note, I appreciated Jonathan's reminder that even when ministry feels lonely, we are never alone because Jesus is a friend who is always near. If you serve your local church in capacity, you will find much joy and encouragement in The Unwavering Pastor and I highly recommend it.
I received The Unwavering Pastor compliments of The Good Book Company in exchange for my honest review.
In the last two years the cultural climate has changed drastically, which presents a significant challenge to those in pastoral ministry, since many of the questions that are raised today are different to those that pastors were taught to engage with when they were training for ministry. In addition to this, there are all the added pressures that come with full-time ministry that have intensified during the pandemic.
This is where the pastor-author Jonathan Dodson helpfully and candidly explores the current ministry landscape in this modern cauldron of social justice, human sexuality and expressive individualism. He shares candidly from his own ministry experiences in dealing with these live issues with a refreshing honesty and vulnerability as he opens up to share his own personal struggles when leading a large urban church during the pandemic started to take its toll.
The book itself is divided up into eight chapters, the first four chapters deal mainly with the personal side of how the pastor finds his strength in God alone, how to deal with criticism with humility, dealing with hurt and pain (which goes with the territory) and how to navigate the minefield of ‘word fighting’ and divisive words. In the second half of the book the focus shifts towards the more practical side of ministering in a climate of modern expressive individualism, being faithful in preaching the Word of God and communicating it effectively with the hearer. Finally in the closing chapters there is some very helpful advise in perseverance and living in peace with others.
In conclusion, as a minister myself there is a healing balm to be found in this book, with its warmth, honesty and wise counsel. The stories and examples that Jonathan Dodson shared are really helpful ministry ‘case studies’ to reflect on and learn from.
*Disclaimer: TGBC kindly provided me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Being a pastor can be hard! There's often very little recognition of the real relational challenges, the stress of feeling responsible for many people who are struggling, while also trying to grow your own faith. It can be very easy to feel like a failure.
In his gentle book, Dodson helped me to dwell on the grace that God shows me, and the love that he continues to pour out on me. I can carry on even when things are disappointing and press on even when life is tough because I have a saviour who walks with me every step of the way.
I'm sure there are sections of this book that could help those who don't pastor, but for anyone who leads a church or has significant responsibility (e.g. home group leaders, pastoral care teams, youth group leaders) and needs a refresh, it's well worth a purchase.
This has been a difficult season for pastors and ministry leaders. Where can you find encouragement in Christ? In The Unwavering Pastor, Jonathan K. Dodson writes on leading the church in grace in divisive times.
Practical Help with Meaningful Encouragement
Over 8 chapters, Dodson gives encouragement on difficult challenges in the church. People who question Christianity, being wounded by divisive words, and living in the age of self, are some of his concerns. He offers practical help for pastors and gives meaningful encouragement for ministry leaders.
Relational Issues and Our Calling as Christians
Dodson shares many personal real-life experiences to show you what he means. It helped me see how his points can be put into practice. What impacted me the most was Dodson’s focus on relational issues – specifically those of people leaving the church. And while Dodson speaks of pastoral difficulties, he reminds us to enjoy the good gifts of God. Friendships, encouragement, and our pursuit of the crown of righteousness are starters.
Steadfast with Strength and Endurance
At less than 150 pages, this is a short and refreshing book. Give it as a gift to your pastor. Read it for your own refreshment. Fortify your soul with the truth of God’s Word, and find yourself ready to run, steadfast with strength and endurance.
I received a media copy of The Unwavering Pastor and this is my honest review.
Although this is a book that is specifically written for Pastors, I think all believers can gain wisdom through Dodson's encouragement.
The Unwavering Pastor is a mix between heavy conviction and powerful encouragement. He structures the book with eight chapters with a hundred forty two pages. It's a quick and easy read but packed full of insight.
Dodson is raw and honest with sharing his own pastoral experiences - both successes and failures - as well as the journeys he traveled in navigating tough situations. He references scriptural stories to apply to today's cultural battles and wars.
My favorite section throughout the book is the conclusion of each chapter. Dodson summarizes the action of an unwavering pastor as discussed in that specific chapter. These bullet points are an easy and wonderful reminder to reference back to.
I enjoyed the book, despite not being in a pastoral role, and will be able to implement many take-aways from his insights in my other roles throughout the Church.
I received a copy of this book from The Good Book Company in exchange for an honest review.