The basic thesis of the book is that pastors, like everyone else, are in the middle of their own sanctification. And what is the means God gives to help Christians in the middle of their sanctification? One of them is the local church. Yet the reality is many pastors feel like they cannot be honest about their own struggles with their brothers and sisters, perhaps out of pride, or perhaps out of fear. Whatever, pastors end up leading a double life – one way with the congregation in public, another behind closed doors with the family. In the end bitterness and failure aren’t far behind.
The solution? To find our identity in Christ not ‘our’ ministry, and to embrace the God-given means of sanctification – the people, brothers and sisters, God has given to help us. The book certainly isn’t an ‘easy’ read in the sense that time and time again Tripp paints an all too familiar portrait of the weaknesses that beset most of us. In that sense its hard and uncomfortable reading, but necessary if we’re to confront the dangers which surround and inhabit us. Here’s a book every pastor should read, and then re-read once a year for the sake of a healthy soul and the glory of God.