The Practical (and Indispensable!) Pastor's Handbook
Exploring What You Actually Need to Do as a 21st Century Minister
Brian A. Ross

Price: $19.95

ISBN: 0788029525
Size: 6x9
Pages: 188
Some books are to be tasted. Other books are to be chewed and digested. Others to be savored slowly. But every now and then a book appears that needs to be kept on the table for constant refreshment. How any pastor serving up fresh food for his people can be without Brian Ross’ Pastor Manual is beyond me.
— Leonard Sweet, best-selling author, professor (George Fox University, Drew University, Tabor College, Evangelical Seminary) and founder/chief contributor to

The most common complaint of any new professional in their first job? “Why didn’t they teach me any of this during my education?” The gap between professor and practitioner is an ongoing challenge, even for ministry. This book is an answer to that problem. It maps out in detail what you need to do to be an effective ministry leader. Brian did not write this for you to be inspired to new heights of vision, but to ensure you get your job done and done well. Trust me. Your community, team, and board with be grateful you read this.
— Tim Day, Executive Director of City Movement Canada

Brian Ross has written the book I wish I had found when I began my ministry career! At once eminently practical and highly readable, It is also a "one stop shop" for perspective on dozens of subjects encountered in day-to-day ministry. Filled with everything from a template for weddings and funerals to wisdom for working with difficult people, this is the first book you should purchase when beginning your ministry with a church.
— Rev. Dr. Christine Roush, Discipleship Coordinator, American Baptist Home Mission Societies

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“Could you please teach your students to do what pastors actually do?”

Such was the question many ministry leaders asked Brian A. Ross after his transition from a lead pastor to a full-time seminary professor. The Practical (And Indispensable!) Pastor’s Handbook: Exploring What You Actually Need to Do as A 21st-Century Minister is Ross’ answer.

Being a pastor encompasses far more than theology and scripture, despite how important that knowledge is. A pastor is responsible for leading a church, including everything from welcoming new members and prayerfully constructing sermons that speak to the congregation’s heart to managing the budget and staying ahead of potential legal pitfalls. Leadership, delegation, teamwork, and organization are all tools in the pastor’s toolbox, along with planning just about everything well in advance. Divine duty or mundane practicality, the pastor is responsible for seeing it done.

The Practical (And Indispensable!) Pastor’s Handbook presents Ross’ guidelines and tips for new solo and senior pastors on a wide variety of topics, including a manual of “do/don’t and why” generated from his studies, observations, and personal experience. While there is, as he says, no “right way” to minister, his handbook has brought benefit and fresh insight to both students and veterans alike.

Enlightening topics include:
  • Handling Sundays
  • Handling Leadership
  • Handling Ministries
  • Handling Pastoral And Self-Care

Brian A. Ross is the Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministries at the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary, overseeing the Master of Divinity and the (online) Master of Arts in Ministry, Leadership, and Culture degree programs. A twenty-two year ministry veteran, he has served as a church planter, senior pastor, teaching pastor, and youth pastor. A minister with the Brethren in Christ Church, Ross currently serves on the leadership team of a new church plant. He and his wife, Stephanie, are the parents of four children. Ross is the editor of Signs of the Times: Pastoral Translations of Ministry & Culture in Honor of Leonard I Sweet.