Prepare Them to Shepherd: Test, Train, Affirm, and Send the Next Generation of Pastors
author Brian Croft
This review refers to the first edition of this book, entitled, Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry
This book was written to encourage pastors and church leaders with respect to raising up pastors from within their congregation. It was not written for raising up missionaries. However, the same principles apply. In fact as I was considering writing a book on the subject, which is frequently asked of Propempo, i.e. “Can the local church train up missionaries for the field?, and How?”, I ran across this book which does a fine job of outlining the process.
One of the best things about this book is that it starts with the presupposition that a “call” to ministry is not an individualistic, subjective thing. Rather, while an internal personal compulsion is a necessary component of the “call”, the final arbiter of whether or not an individual is called, gifted, and skilled for ministry is the local church. To throw someone into the deep, shark-infested waters of ministry, whether as a pastor or missionary, without the prerequisite observable training and experience is just begging for costly attrition and disillusionment for all concerned parties.
This book is one I would highly recommend to church leaders, missionaries, missionary candidates, and pastoral candidates. If we are to succeed in allocating well-qualified missionaries to the hard places remaining to fulfill the Great Commission, the whole church needs to be engaged in identifying, guiding, training, sending, and shepherding our best people to the task.
P.S. – the original edition of the book, Test, Train, Affirm, and Send Into Ministry: Recovering the Local Church’s Responsibility in the External Call, may be available in used book sources, look for ISBN 1846251974