Staying Fresh, serving with joy

By Paul Mallard, IVP (2015)


This down to earth, honest and well-grounded book provides a rich resource of advice, wisdom and challenging comment to all bearing the burden and privilege of Christian ministry. It has been a joy to read and will remain a valued part of my Christian library.

Focused on those in full-time ministry, it also had much to offer the spouses of ministers and any engaged in other work which they regard as their calling from God.

The whole book provides invaluable advice arising from the author’s many years of experience and resulting wisdom. Always encouraging, it addresses challenging issues that need to be explored. It has a down to earth, honest approach in which Paul Mallard has the knack of coming alongside his readers to explore these issues in a loving way.

Each of the fourteen chapters addresses a particular issue and/or potential pitfalls arising from the demands of ministry, maintaining one’s own walk with God and caring for one’s marriage. Each chapter draws upon Paul Mallard’s own experience plus quotes from other authors and Scripture. But there is no rhetoric here or sanctimonious calls to overcome as if that was an easy matter. Instead each issue is worked through honestly and with encouragement. Each chapter ends with a list of questions that enable the reader to ponder further on his or her own situation.

The book is tremendously valuable as a whole, but is structured in such a way that one could easily dip in to a particular chapter which is a current issue for the reader. Further reading is included at the end.

I would like to see this book given to all called to ministry, maybe at ordination but certainly within a few years of ‘being at the sharp end’.

It has been both a privilege and a blessing to review this excellent book.

Reviewed by Jean A Ball