A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities, by J. Stephen Yuille, Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage, 2013, x + 136 pages, $15.00, paper.
Faithful ministers experience bouts of discouragement, some of them long and intensely painful. Our hearts go out to them: hard work and steadfast prayer have yielded little in the way of visible fruit. Their discouragement can be so severe that they lose sight of the nobility of their work—they are men sent by God to care for his blood-bought church.
A second danger may come from the opposite direction: times of growth in God’s church produce pride. If ministers are not careful, they end up claiming for themselves the glory that belongs to God alone.
Both dangers—discouragement and pride—can cripple ministers and their work. Fortunately, there are safeguards, one of which is books that remind pastors of their calling and character while offering a fresh vision of their indispensable work. J. Stephen Yuille’s splendid A Labor of Love: Puritan Pastoral Priorities is such a book.