KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Midwestern Seminary announced today the release of Spurgeon the Pastor: Recovering a Biblical and Theological Vision for Ministry, authored by Geoff Chang, Assistant Professor of Historical Theology and Curator of the Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Seminary.
Written in line with the latest Spurgeon scholarship, this book seeks to recover a more well-rounded view of the nineteenth century preacher, focusing on his pastoral ecclesiology.
“I want to congratulate Dr. Chang on this helpful book, said Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen. “Anyone who has read Spurgeon knows that there is much to learn from the preaching and teaching ministry of the Prince of Preachers. Dr. Chang has now revealed that there is much to learn from Spurgeon’s pastoral ministry as well.”
With chapter topics ranging from church membership and congregationalism to pastoral training and church planting, Chang seeks to uncover an often-overlooked aspect of Spurgeon’s ministry.
As Chang mentioned in the book’s summary, “Charles Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers, was a pastor to well over 5,000 people in a day long before “mega-churches” were the norm. But you might be surprised to know that Spurgeon’s vision for ministry was not pragmatic. He did not borrow best practices from the business leaders in his day. Rather, his ministry was decidedly, staunchly biblical and theological in nature- and it was a ministry vision we ought to adopt more than a century later.”
In a recent interview, Chang spoke to the importance of the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon, and why pastors and ministry leaders should study his ministry today.
“The main reason to study Spurgeon is because he sought to teach and apply what he saw in the Bible. My contention in the book is that Spurgeon was driven in his ministry by biblical and theological principles, rather than the latest fads or pragmatism. We may not agree with all his conclusions, but insofar as he sought to be faithful, he remains a model for us today.”
Chang continued, “What’s striking about his ministry is that he pastored during a time of widespread nominalism, theological downgrade, but also remarkable revival. And yet in those challenging times, Spurgeon persevered in faithfulness to Scripture, both in his preaching and shepherding. And so, he is a worthwhile friend for us to get to know.”
Many in contemporary culture may be aware of the preaching of Charles Spurgeon but may fail to realize the comprehensive nature of his ministry.
“My guess is that many readers will assume that because Spurgeon’s church was so large, it basically functioned more as a preaching station rather than a church,” said Chang. “But this was certainly not the case.”
“Spurgeon took seriously his calling as a pastor, and he took seriously the fact that they were a church. This means that even as the church membership reached 5,000, he was still thinking about how to keep track of his members, organize visitation, maintain meaningful membership, and much more. And all this before cell phones and email!”
Chang hopes this book will be a resource for pastors and ministry leaders to serve the church for years to come.
He said, “In learning from Spurgeon’s example, my hope is that pastors and church leaders will grow to love the church, the Bride of Christ, and be ever more committed to shepherding her faithfully according to God’s Word.”
To read the full interview, visit ftc.co.
Reflecting on the publication, Chang expressed gratitude for the many involved in the making of this book, including the team at B&H Publishing, colleagues and friends at Midwestern Seminary, and the influence of faithful churches and family members throughout his life.
“My interest in Spurgeon’s pastoral ministry has been shaped by my membership in faithful local church over the years. This book exists only because of the generous contribution of so many others.”
For more information about the life and ministry of Charles Spurgeon, visit The Spurgeon Center for Biblical Preaching at Midwestern Seminary.
Spurgeon the Pastor: Recovering a Biblical and Theological Vision for Ministry is now available for purchase.