How would you get more than 5,000 people to show up at your church?
Almost every pastor feels the pressure to get people in the doors. More people means more success, more stability, and more godly influence, right? Often, in their zeal for fruit and growth, pastors and church leaders adopt worldly mechanisms for church growth that end up undermining the very call God has given them.
Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, was a pastor to well over 5,000 people in a day long before “mega-churches” were the norm. But you might be surprised to know that Spurgeon’s vision for ministry was not pragmatic. He did not borrow “best practices” from the business leaders of his day. Rather, his ministry vision was decidedly, staunchly biblical and theological in nature—and it was a ministry vision we ought to adopt more than a century later.
In Spurgeon the Pastor, Geoff Chang, director of the Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Seminary, shows how Spurgeon models a theological vision of ministry in preaching, baptism and the Lord’s supper, meaningful church membership, biblical church leadership, leadership development, and more.
Don’t get caught up in worldly methods to pursue ministry growth. Follow the example of the Prince of Preachers, and entrust your ministry to the sovereignty of the Prince of Peace.
Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?
C. H. Spurgeon was perhaps the most influential Baptist pastor of the 19th century. His ecclesiology and pastoral ministry was the topic of my doctoral research. Prior to my research, the popular opinion was that Spurgeon was a tremendous preacher, but not a very good pastor. But as I dug into his writings and church minute books, what I discovered is that despite his huge platform and the size of his church, Spurgeon remained steadfast in his biblical convictions about how a church should be ordered and shepherded. I wrote this book because I believe Spurgeon has something to say to pastors today about how they are to lead their churches.
For whom did you write this book?
For all pastors and church leaders, but especially those who love Spurgeon’s preaching and have heard something about his fruitful ministry.
What do you hope readers glean from this book?
My hope is that in learning from Spurgeon’s example, pastors walk away with the belief that how we “do” church is not a matter of what draws the biggest crowds or grows our budgets but should be grounded in biblical and theological convictions.
What are key takeaways leaders can learn from Charles Spurgeon’s legacy?
- The primacy and power of preaching God’s Word
- The importance of guarding the membership of the church
- The weighty calling of pastoral ministry
- Wise insights into how to faithfully shepherd a large church
- How to cultivate a culture of discipleship and evangelism in the church
- And much more!
How will this book encourage and challenge pastors and church leaders facing stress in their ministries?
Pastors are often stressed out because their congregations or the budget or their platforms aren’t growing in number. They are stressed from trying all kinds of church-growth programs that promise success. But Spurgeon is here to tell us that pastoring is, in one sense, actually not that complicated. True success is about faithfulness to God’s Word. The calling of a pastor is to preach God’s Word faithfully, pray, love his people, and leave the results to God. My hope is that this book will help impart that vision.