The Ministry by Charles Brown
This short volume is from an address that Charles Brown was asked to give on the subject of pastoral ministry. The briefness of this book is a strength. You can read it in a few sittings, and then get back to what he is prompting you to be about in your pastoral ministry – prayer and preaching.
Biographer Iain Murray writes in his introduction that “Brown would remind us that there is such a thing as preaching with the Holy Spirit sent down from heaven. Christ can give such men again: men of doctrinal earnestness, catholic spirit, tender hearts, and abiding prayerfulness. Such messengers, touched with a ‘live coal from the altar’, have been the means of resurrection and revival within the churches. And only then can the church be the means of awakening the world that sleeps.”
Practically, I found a section on public prayers very helpful. There is no length of time that is too long when you are praying in private, but in public lengthy prayers can become a hindrance and not a help. He writes of Robert Bruce of Edinburgh saying, “He was very short in prayer when others were present, but every sentence was like a strong bolt shot up to heaven (pg. 27).”
Much time in private prayers leads to powerful public prayers that neither tie people down to memorized prayers or put people to sleep with lengthy and extemporaneous prayers.
The rest of the volume is filled with practical and devotional advice for preaching and caring for the church. It will be one to return to again and again.