After reading the preface to Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, I had to put down everything and begin reading. I have known this book exists for about two years now and God has brought it to my desk at just the right time in my life. This book was written for me. The authors of these 20 letters are seasoned pastors who desire to serve younger pastors in the work of the ministry.
The first chapter is by the editor, Tom Ascol. It is a letter about establishing priorities. Tom says this letter flows from his constant challenge to maintain a proper balance in the priorities God has called him to. Tom counsels young pastors to actually think through and write down our priorities. Tom gives his priorities as follows:
1. A Christian
2. A Husband
3. A Father
4. A Pastor
5. A Helper (denominational work, etc.)
Tom warns, "when a lower priority leaps above a higher, then I am setting myself up for an unstable life" (p. 35).
This chapter helps me think about my own priorities. While a lot of the secondary responsibilities in my life may change, the top four must always remain in this order: Christian, Husband, Father, Pastor.
Thanks Tom, you have served me well by editing this book and by writing this chapter.