I love biographies. They are my genre of choice. My attitude is – “If I’m going to read something, it may as well be something true”. I love the biographies of the Christian ‘greats’. The Corrie Ten Booms, Spurgeons and Hudson Taylors.
But what about the Christian ‘ordinaries’? What about the majority of us who are not ‘great’? And what about the majority of pastors who are faithful, careful …but ultimately ordinary (in the nicest sense of the word)? Can we learn from them too?
In Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor, D.A. Carson suggests, and I think proves beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we can!
D.A. Carson is a champion theologian, prolific writer and popular conference preacher. However, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor is no deep theological treatise. In this book, Carson tenderly lifts the curtain to show the life of an ‘ordinary pastor’ by providing a humble reflection on the life and ministry of his Dad – Tom Carson. What I have loved is that this book teaches the value of faithfulness, the true definition of success and the stunning character of perseverance in a way which I found 10 times more meaningful than if I had just been told it by an essay. Isn’t that so often the way with biographies?
So can I encourage you to grab a copy and get reading!
For those who are not particularly fond of history - don’t be put off by chapter 1, in which Carson sets the historical context of 20th century Canadian Quebec. There is something quietly fascinating about the remarkable changes that occurred during the period of Tom Carson’s ministry. And it got me thinking about the differences and similarities between cross cultural ministry over there (French-speaking Catholic vs English-speaking protestant) and in Australia (Chinese, Iranian, etc etc). Also, the consequences of this context keep boomeranging back through the rest of the book. So … enjoy!