This has to be one of the worst titles for a book ever. I don't know about you, but 10 Power Principles brings to mind door-to-door insurance sales people, used car sales people, or multi-level marketing schemes. A title like 10 Power Principles reminds me of one too many seminars I've attended, promising magical practices that will transform my work and turn me into Joel Osteen.
And this book is nothing like that.
Instead, it reads like the wisdom collected over a lifetime of faithful ministry, of lessons learned through deep struggles and challenges, of basic, necessary, obvious and yet so often neglected practices at the root of God-pleasing ministry.
There's nothing surprising here. It could all be summed up as "Pray, spend time in the Word, rely on the Spirit, expect pain, rejoice when trials lead to growth, submit to God and his people; in other words, be like Christ." Written in the gentle, winsome tone of a seasoned minister, filled with stories that set these principles at home in the hearts of ministers, 10 Power Principles is one of the best books I've read on ministry and the necessary heart-work it requires. There is nothing here about church growth or magical successes, no promises of winning thousands to Christ, no lessons on marketing or sermon-writing or website development. Just a call to return to the foundational work of prayer. Of spending time in the Word. A call to lay aside dreams of comfort and prestige, replacing them with sacrifice and service. A challenge to live lives of honesty and integrity before God and others. And a reminder that our entire work is to bring people to growth and maturity in Christ.
This is one of those books that probably needs to be read every 5 years or so; especially when discouragement sets in, or the mailbox fills up with promotional material for one more ministry scheme, or when we've lost our way in the fog of herding ornery sheep. It's one of those 'reset' books, that reminds us who we are and what we're supposed to be doing. I certainly needed it right about now, and I do believe I'll be passing along copies to a pastor friend or two in the days to come.