I really enjoy reading books by people that I know…you feel more personally connected to the writer and therefore, the book itself. Brian Croft is a dear friend of my husband. He is the pastor of a church in Louisville, KY. He writes a blog for “normal” pastors called Practical Shepherding.
I picked this book (actually, thank you Eric for getting it for me) due to a friend’s asking if I had read it or knew anything about it. My pastor had just finished preaching through Hebrews 11 (the chapter of the Bible this book is based on) and life is just a BIT of a struggle right now. This was a perfect book.
Brian’s strength, both in his books and on his blog, is that he knows his audience. He is writing to pastors, not necessarily the mega church, celebrity pastors, but normal pastors who serve normal churches. These are the pastors who probably don’t get book deals or radio shows and their churches don’t put our their own CDs or fill up football stadiums. These are the pastors that shepherd anywhere from 15 – 500 people and press on, week in and week out. They may struggle with being the only staff pastor or may struggle with leadership issues. They may not have a huge choir and still sing from accompaniment tapes because their church hasn’t made it to the 21st Century. Brian knows his audience. He doesn’t use big theological terms (if he does, he defines them) and he uses stories that will resonate with the majority of his readers. This is a great benefit to his books that all authors need to learn (including me)!
Another of Brian’s strengths is his pointing to Christ through all of his chapters. This is what the writer of Hebrews wants to do anyway (doesn’t the whole Bible point to Christ?). The main goal of the book of Hebrews is for the reader to see that Christ is better, He is more supreme. Brian helps us see that AGAIN (because we often need to be reminded) by looking at the lives of the saints mentioned in the Hall of Faith (Hebrews 11). He shows us how God compels normal every day people, great sinners in need of a HUGE Savior, to persevere and endure to the end for great would be their reward!
Maybe life for you is kinda tough. Maybe you or your family is going through a tough time and you want to be made aware of God’s infinite faithfulness to us in giving us Christ. Pick up this book. Pastors, there is a specific chapter for you at the end, but the rest of the book can really be read and applied by everyone. The chapters are short and applicable – in fact there are application questions at the end of each of the chapters.
Be encouraged. Your God is good and faithful. Thank you Brian.