Pastors Are People too: What They Won’t Tell You But You Need to Know, by Jimmy Dodd and Larry Magnuson
Recently, I purchased the book Pastors Are People Too: What They Won’t Tell You But You Need to Know for the Kindle. I don’t remember where I saw the advertisement for the book, but it was at a great price, on sale (it might have been from Challies, but I couldn’t find it on his Kindle Deals page). Upon beginning to read the book, I knew that this would be an amazing book. This is going to be a very short book review, as to make a long one regarding this book would only cause me to rehash what the book states in terms so much better than I could ever do.
Dodd and Magnuson serve pastors, hence their ministry’s name “PastorServe”, and through this, they encounter pastors at their best, but mostly at their worst. Whether they are suffering, tired, or have just been fired for something, they take these stories and not only counsel others going through similar afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), but they also utilize what they learn when advising churches who are going through some sort of struggle. Reading through the pages of Pastors Are People Too makes me realize all too well the reality of “hindsight is 20/20” in that I found myself being critical of congregations and church leadership in many of the anecdotes that are interwoven throughout the book. My heart was also broken on my occasions as I read of how poorly treated many pastors by the very churches they shepherd. But, I can see it. I have seen it. Thankfully, I have not experienced it (I am not currently a pastor), and Lord willing, hopefully it will be something that can be avoided.
My favorite chapters of the book are regarding pastors wives (Chapter 7) and the chapter regarding the pastor’s kids (Chapter 8) and how they are given unreal expectations, treated differently, expected to be perfect, all of which are impossible by anyone. One of my biggest fears, and worst experiences, have been the unreal expectations that were put on my wife when we were serving a local church. Congregants expected my wife (I wasn’t even a pastor, just a staff member) to sign up for as much work within the church as she could. And when my wife forgot to fill out the form about what she was going to be volunteering for, some members of the church got upset and complained to the pastor. Never again will I let that happen. My wife is happy to serve, but no one has the right to expect, no, demand it from my wife, from my help mate. (Rant over). And, I fully expect to protect my children, as I have four of them currently, as I seek to enter vocational ministry again.
In the end, this is an amazing book that is very encouraging. I strongly believe that all members of churches, from regular members to lead pastors, and everyone in between, will benefit from reading this book.