The New Guidebook for Pastors

By James W. Bryant and Mac Brunson
Nashville, Tenn. : B & H Publishing Group (2007). 311 Pages.

Reviewed by Dr. Alex Montoya
19.2 (Fall 2008) : 259-260

This book is written as a follow up to Criswell’s Guidebook for Pastors, written by W. A. Criswell, famous Southern Baptist preacher and pastor. James W. Brant is a professor of theology at The Criswell College, and Mac Brunson is senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. These two men have teamed up to produce a new manual for pastors to guide them through the maze of pastoral responsibilities.

The book contains 21 chapters of practical advice to pastors, with each chapter having the caption of “The Pastor and His. . . .” It covers the whole field from the call to the retirement. It provides a good companion volume to Criswell’s book, bringing many of the issues pastors face up to date. The chapters are full of practical wisdom and suggestions, but not much on theological foundations. The chapters on “His First Church,” “Missions, and Evangelism,” “His Ethics,” “Changing Churches,” “His denomination” are clearly new items to consider.

The authors have a Southern Baptist background, and write for a Southern Baptist pastor, which might be an obstacle if the reader is not a Baptist. Aside from this, the authors provide a much needed update on what a young pastor needs to know. The book also provides some valuable resources in the appendixes, which by themselves would be worth the price of the book.