Workers for the Harvest Field by Vaughan Roberts and Tim Thornborough is an interesting book, primarily aimed at those considering some form of paid gospel ministry within churches or missionary organisations. As Vaughan Roberts says in his introduction:

We all have different gifts. Some are suited to this kind of work, others are best used in other ways. We must resist the idea that some jobs are better or more ‘spiritual’ than others. But we should all be asking ourselves the question: ‘What is it that I could do, as the person I am and with the gifts that God has given me, that would bring the most glory to God through the spread of the gospel?’ For some that will mean staying where they are; for others it will mean a significant change of direction.

In other words, it is a book that encourages questions, and offering many great insights into what might come next and what life might look like.  The contents page gives a good overview of what the book is trying to do:

Section 1: What is gospel ministry?
1. What is Gospel Ministry? (Vaughan Roberts)
2. The Character of Gospel Ministry (David Jackman)
3. The Priority of Gospel Ministry (Richard Coekin)

Section 2: Varieties of gospel ministry
4. The pastor-teacher (Andy Gemmill)
5. The realities of being an evangelist (Roger Carswell)
6. Church planters for the harvest field (Tim Chester)
7. Gospel ministry overseas (Andy Lines)
8. Cross-cultural ministry in the UK (Andrew Raynes)
9. Women’s Ministry (Carrie Sandom)
10. Youth and children’s ministry (Roger Fawcett)
11. Building the urban church (Ken Moulder)
12. Student ministry (Nathan Buttery)

Section 3: Getting from A to B
13. Guidance (Christopher Ash)
14. Apprenticeships (Ian Garrett)
15. Theological Education (David Peterson)
16. Where do I go from here? (Peter Comont)

I. The other Lord’s Prayer (Christopher Green)
II. 9:38
III. Routes to full-time ministry

It is a helpful book giving an overview to ministry in the UK from a conservative evangelical perspective.  One of the books strengths is the number of real-life stories spread throughout.

However, if you read it straight through (which might not be its design) it gets pretty repetitive.  This might be weak editing, or just not how the book’s meant to be read.  It also comes across as having an Anglican focus, particularly in the last section where the only explanation of a route into full-time ministry is the Anglican model rather than the Baptist, Methodist, URC or independent church model.

If you have a student who is thinking about ministry this is a helpful book for them to start with.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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