The Pastor's Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry

By R. Kent Hughes, Edited by Douglas Sean O'Donnell

... Show All


Crossway+ members receive 30% off books. Learn more.

Availability: In Stock

Retail Price: $50.00

The Pastor's Book: A Comprehensive and Practical Guide to Pastoral Ministry

By R. Kent Hughes, Edited by Douglas Sean O'Donnell

... Show All

Pastors are tasked with the incredibly demanding job of caring for the spiritual, emotional, and, at times‚ physical needs of their people. While seminary is helpful preparation for many of the challenges pastors face, there’s far more to pastoral ministry than what can be covered in the classroom. Designed as a reference guide for nearly every situation a pastor will face, this comprehensive book by seasoned pastors Kent Hughes and Doug O’Donnell is packed full of biblical wisdom and practical guidance related to the reality of pastoral ministry in the trenches. From officiating weddings to conducting funerals to visiting the sick, this book will equip pastors and church leaders with the knowledge they need to effectively minister to their flocks, both within the walls of the church and beyond.

Read Chapter 1


R. Kent Hughes

R. Kent Hughes (DMin, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, Illinois, and former professor of practical theology at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hughes is also a founder of the Charles Simeon Trust, which conducts expository preaching conferences throughout North America and worldwide. He serves as the series editor for the Preaching the Word commentary series and is the author or coauthor of many books. He and his wife, Barbara, live in Spokane, Washington, and have four children and an ever-increasing number of grandchildren.


Douglas Sean O'Donnell

Douglas Sean O’Donnell (PhD, University of Aberdeen) is the senior vice president of Bible editorial at Crossway. Over the past twenty-five years he has helped train people around the world to read and teach the Bible clearly. He has pastored several churches, served as a professor, and authored or edited over twenty books, including commentaries, Bible studies, children’s books, and a children’s curriculum. He also wrote The Pastor’s Book with R. Kent Hughes and The Beauty and Power of Biblical Exposition with Leland Ryken.

Product Details

Category: Church Ministry
Commentaries & Reference
Format: Cloth Over Board
Page Count: 592
Size: 6.0 in x 9.0 in
Weight: 42.26 ounces
ISBN-10: 1-4335-4587-X
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-4587-0
ISBN-UPC: 9781433545870
Case Quantity: 6
Published: October 31, 2015

Table of Contents

Part 1: Christian Gatherings

  1. Sunday Worship
  2. Annual Services
  3. Weddings
  4. Funerals
    Enrichment: Poetry to Enhance Preaching and Worship

Part 2: Parts of the Worship Service

  1. Public Prayers
  2. The Historic Christian Creeds
  3. Hymns and Songs
  4. Baptism
  5. Communion

Part 3: Ministerial Duties

  1. Pastoral Counseling
  2. Hospital Visitation

Appendix: Sample Wedding Services from Various Churches


“Everyday Latin phrases spring to mind to describe The Pastor’s Book: It is a magnum opus—a major work for all ministers, incorporating one and a half lifetimes of gathered pastoral resources. It will be a vade mecum—the go-to book and faithful companion for younger ministers, to guide, inform, and sometimes correct and restrain. It should prove to be a sine qua non for all who are engaged in gospel ministry over the long haul—the very book needed to help re-calibrate and refresh. These pages constitute a love-gift to their fellow under-shepherds from Kent Hughes and Douglas Sean O’Donnell. They have put all who love Christ’s church in their lasting debt.”
Sinclair B. Ferguson, Chancellor’s Professor of Systematic Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary; Teaching Fellow, Ligonier Ministries

“This is an immensely helpful, Scripture-saturated resource for busy pastors, explaining the practical ‘how to’s’ of leading weddings, funerals, baptisms, the Lord’s Supper, personal counseling, and weekly worship services. It reflects the accumulated wisdom of decades of ministry, and it comes from the pen of a godly, wise senior pastor for whom I have the highest appreciation and respect.”
Wayne Grudem, Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies Emeritus, Phoenix Seminary

The Pastor's Book should be on the shelf of every young preacher heading out into gospel ministry. It is a resource volume—meant to guide you into good practice and provide you with language for a variety of pastoral settings. Its success comes from the authors’ mutual hallmark of disciplined and careful preparation.”
David R. Helm, Senior Pastor, Christ Church Chicago; Chairman, The Charles Simeon Trust

“This is an invaluable resource for every pastor or church leader, at whatever stage of life and ministry. Full of biblical and theological insights, practical applications, and excellent examples, it will become an essential companion and guide for a multitude of ministry opportunities and challenges.”
David Jackman, Former President, The Proclamation Trust

“Veteran pastors Kent Hughes and Douglas O'Donnell have given us a wonderful, biblically anchored, gospel-centered resource. This is an invaluable, go-to treasure for busy pastors. From invocations to benedictions and from weddings to funerals, this volume is a very helpful guide in confidently exercising our duties as ministers of the gospel. What a gift!”
Crawford W. Loritts Jr., speaker; radio host; author; Founder and President, Beyond Our Generation

“I wish I had had this book when I began my ministry as a pastor! It pulls back the curtain to show us what we need to know about our calling and the expectations of our people. It gives a breadth and context to pastoral responsibilities I’ve not seen in other similar books.”
Erwin W. Lutzer, Pastor Emeritus, The Moody Church, Chicago

The Pastor’s Book is a remarkable resource, forged over four decades of Hughes’ pastoral experience. It is historically informed, biblically grounded, thoroughly Christ-centered, and imminently practical. This is a book that the new pastor and the veteran minister alike will return to again and again as they press through the crucible of pastoral ministry.”
Aaron Messner, Senior Minister, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, Georgia

“Pastors must be prepared for almost any imaginable situation. From weekly sermons and counseling to hospital visitations and funerals, the pastoral tasks vary from day to day, even from hour to hour. Kent Hughes provides the type of theologically rich handbook every minister needs on his shelf. Hughes is a sagacious guide to the many facets of pastoral ministry, and his program for ministry is deeply rooted in Scripture. I am confident that pastors will be greatly served by this book and better equipped for faithful ministry in every avenue of life.”
R. Albert Mohler Jr., President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“I can only imagine the benefits I would have received if I had been given this book on my ordination day. I not only look forward to having my own copy but also securing one for the young men I have the privilege of mentoring for gospel ministry. The Pastor’s Book is a well-written and comprehensive compendium on pastoral ministry. Get it and use it, and may our Lord’s church again be blessed by ministers called of God who give themselves to ‘the ministry of prayer and the Word.’”
Harry L. Reeder III, Senior Pastor, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Birmingham, Alabama; author, From Embers to a Flame; The Leadership Dynamic; and 3D Leadership

“Whether you are a newly minted pastor or a veteran, you will find this all-in-one resource for pastoral ministry a very helpful book. This book will actually remind pastors there are many wonderful resources to draw upon, all of which equip us to biblically minister in the various roles and contexts we find ourselves pastoring within.”
Jay S. Thomas, Lead Pastor, Chapel Hill Bible Church, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

“Veteran pastor and author Kent Hughes has written what will surely prove to be one of the most widely used and useful guides to pastoral ministry available to young pastors. As I read through this volume, I was struck over and over again by the practical wisdom, measured assessment, and confident admonition that could come only from one who has pastored—and pastored thoughtfully and well—for many years. The benefit this book will be for pastors and their churches is incalculable. What a gift this is.”
Bruce A. Ware, T. Rupert and Lucille Coleman Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary