Register
Logos Bible Software
Products>The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart

The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart

Publisher:
ISBN: 9781683593010

$14.99

Print list price: $21.99
Save $7.00 (31%)

The Care of Souls

2020 ECPA Christian Book Award Winner for Ministry Resources.

2020 Christianity Today Book Award Winner for Church/Pastoral Leadership

2019 TGC Ministry Book of the Year Winner

Pastors care for a soul in the way a doctor cares for a body. In a time when many churches have lost sight of the real purpose of the church, The Care of Souls invites a new generation of pastors to form the godly habits and practical wisdom needed to minister to the hearts and souls of those committed to their care.

Harold Senkbeil helps remind pastors of the essential calling of the ministry: preaching and living out the Word of God while orienting others in the same direction. And he offers practical and fruitful advice—born out of his five decades as a pastor—that will benefit both new pastors and those with years in the pulpit.

Drawing on a lifetime of pastoral experience, The Care of Souls is a beautifully written treasury of proven wisdom which pastors will find themselves turning to again and again.

 

Praise for The Care of Souls

This book is not a manual on church strategy, metrics, or leadership theory. It is pastoral theology at its best. Written from the heart of the Lutheran tradition, The Care of Souls draws on the classical sources of Christian wisdom and reaches out to the entire Body of Christ. Every pastor, and everyone who wants to be a pastor, should read this book.

–Timothy George, founding dean, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University; general editor, Reformation Commentary on Scripture

Dr. Harold Senkbeil has distilled the wisdom that comes from long service in the church as a pastor, missionary, and seminary professor into this volume. His writing is rich and robust with biblical insight that has sustained pastors through the ages. His is a classical approach to shepherding that is attuned to contemporary realities. The Care of Souls will be a welcome companion to both novice and veteran pastors who take seriously their Lord’s mandate to faithfully tend His flock.

–John T. Pless, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Mission/Director of Field Education, Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN

Excellent for personal reflection and for pastoral study groups, The Care of Souls is an invitation to a safe place where we can reflect on our ministries in light of the incarnate Christ and in His caring body, the Church.

–Dale A. Meyer, President, Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO

Summarizing nearly a half century of pastoral labor is no small task. Distilling such extended service into a useable overview with a compelling narrative is quite remarkable. Making such a volume serviceably practical is truly noteworthy. Pastor Harold Senkbeil’s The Care of Souls informs and assists those entrusted with care of souls in the church by locating their service in the work of the Great Shepherd of the sheep and by sharing with us the gracious working of our Lord Christ in his own ministry. What a blessing this book is and will be for pastors!

–Lawrence R. Rast Jr., President, Concordia Theological Seminary (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Contents

  • Foreword by Michael Horton
  • The Pastoral Craft: One Farm Boy’s Story
  • What Is a Pastor? The Classical Model
  • The Word of God: Ministry’s Source and Norm
  • The Cure of Souls: Attentive Diagnosis
  • The Cure of Souls: Intentional Treatment
  • Sheep-Dogging and Shepherding: The Noble Task
  • Guilt and Shame
  • Holiness and the Cure of Souls
  • Drawing Near to God: Proximity and Holiness
  • Invisible Powers: Spiritual Warfare
  • Christ’s “Other Sheep”: Mission and the Care of Souls
  • The Shepherding of Shepherds
  • Always Be Steady: Equilibrium in Ministry
  • Joy in Office

Product Details

  • Title: The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart
  • Author: Harold L. Senkbeil
  • Publisher: Lexham Press
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Pages: 312
  • Format: Logos Digital, Hardcover
  • Trim Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781683593010

Harold L. Senkbeil is author of the award-winning book The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor’s Heart (Lexham Press). He is executive director of Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care. His pastoral experience of nearly five decades includes parish ministry, the seminary classroom, and parachurch leadership.

Sample Pages from The Care of Souls

Reviews

14 ratings

4.94.94.94.94.9

Sign in with your Faithlife account

  1. Nathanael Ross
  2. Jason Grubbs

    Jason Grubbs

    2/27/2021

    55555
    I don't give this book a five star review because I agree with the theology of the author. In many cases, we disagree. But the value of this book is in cultivating a pastor's heart. I feel like I have been sitting with an experienced pastor for days while he shared what he learned about loving Jesus and loving His people. This book is encouraging and challenging to all in ministry and will help you be a better shepherd. God is helping me to be a more patient pastor in the sanctification of his people. He is also helping me to be a more pursuing pastor with straying sheep. He has used this book to help me with those areas.
    Reply

  3. Roll, Zachary

    Roll, Zachary

    4/18/2020

    55555
  4. Jesvin Jose

    Jesvin Jose

    2/14/2020

    55555
    Let me start with this: I don’t agree with everything in this book (minor quibbles only). But that hardly matters! There is so much to commend in this book that minor objections can be safely ignored. Harold Senkbeil, a former farm boy and present-day Lutheran pastor, brings together his farm and ministry experience to produce a modern-day classic for the soul-caring pastor. This is pastoral theology at its very best! Here are some questions he tackles with great precision and care: How does a pastor cultivate the heart of the Great Shepherd? What does it mean to be a sheep-dog guiding the sheep? How does the pastor develop a ‘habitus’ (a heart disposition) for ministry? How does a modern-day pastor battle ‘acedia’ (lack of care) in ministry? What does it mean to be a ‘sentinel’ (a soldier on guard)? What is the role of the evil one in deep spiritual battles? Overall, the book is a soothing balm to the weary soul! Harold begins by introducing the pastoral craft, highlighting the virtue of steady patience and the joy of hard labor, taking his cues from farming. His main premise is that action flows from being; identity (‘habitus’) defines activity! On the one hand, the pastoral disposition or habitus is a gift of the Holy Spirit; on the other hand, it must be polished and mastered by deliberate interaction with God’s people. In other words, the pastoral habitus is not ‘adopted’, but ‘acquired’ by much practice and over the long haul. Pastors, he says, are nothing more than ‘errand boys for Jesus’! I love that humble definition of a pastor! According to Harold, the process of curing souls has two phases: attentive diagnoses followed by intentional treatment. Attention and intention, he says, are equally vital! He writes, “The pastor must first listen to the soul before he can minister to the soul.” A hearty amen to that! He suggests that the pastor must listen simultaneously on four different levels (these are signs or guideposts): 1) faith, 2) providence, 3) holiness and, 4) repentance. Under intentional treatment, he suggests ten theses for the cure of souls, highlighting the role of the Word of God and the sacraments in intentionally treating spiritual ailments. If faith comes by hearing God’s Word, and if the world, the flesh and the devil conspire to destroy that faith among God’s people, the pastor’s role is clear: he must apply the Word of God and the sacraments specifically and individually, much like a skillful physician. Harold then drives home his point by comparing the role of a pastor to a sheep-dog. This chapter is pure gold! The sheep-dog's one ear, he says, is tuned to the voice of the Shepherd and the other is tuned to the voice of the sheep. This is how it must be with the pastor too! He highlights three things about the relationship between the sheep-dog and the shepherd: 1) The sheep-dog doesn't know or grasp the Shepherd's full intent. 2) The sheep-dog is not self-assertive but is the agent of his master's mind. 3) The sheep-dog's tail is always wagging because of his love for the shepherd (despite frustration caused by wayward sheep). Harold further writes that the sheep-dog carries out such exhausting work not by its own strength, but by spending much time looking at the shepherd. Isn’t that how pastors receive rest for their souls too – by looking to the Great Shepherd of their souls? The insights in this chapter are thoroughly illuminating! Harold then helpfully distinguishes between guilt and shame, saying things like, “Guilt is sin committed; shame is sin suffered” and “Guilt has to do with behavior while shame is a matter of identity. Guilt is tied to sinful things I've done; shame is the continuous experience of utter remorse over who I am.” He also reminds the pastor that genuine virtue and good works come from the Holy Spirit – they cannot be manufactured from within! The couple of chapters on holiness remind the reader that proximity to the source of sanctification is absolutely indispensable for the sanctification of our souls. By faith in Christ who is “actual righteousness and true holiness”, we can participate in that divine life. He also reminds the pastor that spiritual battles in ministry (sexual battles, acedia, etc.) cannot be fought with our puny intellects or helpless will-powers. We and our people need Christ, who has won the battle against the evil one. We must never forget that the devil is a defeated enemy! We are mere sentinels (soldiers on guard), who when attacked, call the real warrior and champion Christ to fight for us! The last few chapters then deal with mission (Christ’s other sheep), pastoring pastors (shepherding the shepherds), and the need for equilibrium in ministry. Overall, very enriching chapters! Much more could be said about this masterpiece, but I wouldn’t want to give too much away - though I already might have whet your appetite! As I said, it is difficult to agree with everything that Harold writes (especially his Lutheran bias, which is clearly seen), but his pastoral heart will undoubtedly warm your weary heart. I read this work not because I am a pastor, but to understand my pastors. Oh, how they need our encouragement and support in serving Christ’s flock! I only wished that this book were 50-80 pages shorter (he does repeat things, but only for emphasis). Nevertheless, I am sure it will be well worth your time. I highly recommend it. *I thank Lexham Press for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review*
    Reply

  5. Brendon Branigin
  6. Abigail Stocker

    Abigail Stocker

    10/30/2019

    55555
  7. David Fleming

    David Fleming

    10/26/2019

    55555
    This is a truly beautiful book, not only in outward form (which it is, btw!), but in its beautiful prose and rich insight into being a pastor. Pastor Senkbeil speaks with insight, kindness, humility, and, most of all, wisdom. Real down-to-earth, real-life wisdom. He doesn't give a cookie-cuter approach to the challenges of the pastoral ministry, instead he keeps delivering to us the great Good Shepherd and Physician of our souls--Jesus Christ. Excellent teachers give helpful distinctions that students can draw on to sort out future challenges. Chapter after chapter The Care of Souls teaches many useful distinctions that will benefit me throughout the rest of my years. I cannot think of a pastor or any Christian who would not benefit from this book. Thank you Pastor Senkbeil. Thank you Lexham Press.
    Reply

  8. Ann Inoue

    Ann Inoue

    10/22/2019

    55555
  9. T. Storck

    T. Storck

    10/15/2019

    55555
  10. Saw Mu Draw Plow
  11. Glenn Crouch

    Glenn Crouch

    9/5/2019

    55555
    I have been greatly encouraged and challenged from reading this fine book. Whilst there is much in this work for all Pastors and Church Leaders, as a Lutheran Pastor (as is the Author) I got much more out of it. I am not as comfortable with the crucifix (coming from a non-Lutheran background) as the Author, so even for me, I won't be adopting all that is suggested. However, the Author is not expecting that. This is not a "Follow these steps to being a good pastor" type of book - rather the Author generously shares his journey, his experiences, and I would say he opens his soul for the reader to see. Then he invites us to partake of what is useful to us :) He realises that pastoring is NOT a one-size-fits-all vocation. I especially liked his analogy of pastors as sheep-dogs. We are often referred to as shepherds, and I don't see a problem with that - however the Author develops an even better analogy with Christ as the Good Shepherd, and we pastors as his sheep-dogs joyfully following His commands as we look after His sheep and lambs. There is much wisdom here - and I would encourage my non-Lutheran colleagues to not be to concerned with the Lutheran approach to the Sacraments and to Worship, rather this gives you an insight into confessional Lutheranism and the Author has much to say that is applicable to all Pastors and Church Leaders!
    Reply

  12. T. Storck

    T. Storck

    8/15/2019

    55555
    Where was this when I was attending seminary? I have heard that question from a number of brother pastors who are also making their way through this book. Dr. Senkbeil does not give point by point suggestions on how to handle particular situation that arise in the congregation but he does give pastors and all readers what they truly need to care for their flocks: Jesus. Each page is full of Jesus that should remind workaholic pastors that the flock is only theirs to sheepdog and that the sheep belong to Jesus. I would recommend this book to all pastors and leaders of congregations. I hope that our church bodies two seminaries will begin to use this wonderful gift to the church for many years to come. Thank you, Dr. Senkbeil for your wisdom.
    Reply

  13. Pastor David Bode
    Have always appreciated Harold Senkbeil's biblical and pastoral writing. This book does help us remember that the pastor is to care for the souls of those entrusted to his care, and to feed them with the pure Word of God.
    Reply

  14. Todd Hains

    Todd Hains

    7/11/2019

    55555

$14.99

Print list price: $21.99
Save $7.00 (31%)