During the past week I had the great privilege of sitting under the ministry of Dr D. A. Carson as he preached at my home church, addressed the Baptist Pastor’s Conference and lectured in the Irish Baptist College.
Carson is truly one of God’s gifts to the church in this era. His pastoral heart combined with his massive intellect has provided the church with much that is invaluable. He has produced a prolific range of material from academic, peer-reviewed journal articles to a daily devotional to be read alongside daily Bible readings.
I have read a lot of Carson’s work and in my opinion Carson’s best book is Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor. The reason being is the call which echoes throughout the book. Namely, that the most important calling for all those serving in ministry is to remain faithful.
As a relatively young Christian I quickly came across the ministry of numerous ‘famous’ pastors/teachers. I am grateful for the doctrinal grounding, the biblical teaching and the pastoral wisdom provided for me by these men. However, one of the desires stirred in my heart (unintentionally) by these men was to plant a church, gather a large following, write books and travel the world preaching. In short I wanted to be a famous preacher like them.
All of that thankfully changed as I read Carson’s book about his father. As Carson spoke of the greatness of this man I had never heard of, his diligence in ministering to tens of people and his love for both his family and more so for his church family.
As I read this book I was challenged by the faithfulness of this ordinary man, serving quietly in French Canada during a very barren time spiritually speaking. I was inspired to devote myself not to becoming famous, but rather to becoming faithful to God and his people.
This is a challenge I continue to endeavour in, and one which is often difficult. But the example of Tom Carson is forever before me now.
If you are to read a Carson book, Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor is the one you should begin with. Below are the links to the kindle book, and the paperback: