The strongest categories are the first two, on the pastor himself and the ministry of the Word. Each chapter starts with a couple of Bible texts or with a Bible text and a quotation or two from an appropriate source. White has judiciously chosen the quotes to introduce the theme covered through the content of this book.
An effective pastor needs the intellectual ability to understand the culture of his or her congregation. He or she needs imagination and the ability to spark the imagination of the congregation. The pastor must have the ability to ask the right questions of the congregation.
A good pastor should display a genuine openness to the insights and stories of people, as also to the congregation's own history. But, this openness does not mean that the pastor would lose his or her own personal conviction.
An effective pastor has to be able to deal with conflict and has to be community oriented and have the ability to shape the community. Finally, a good effective pastor must be humble and have a very real sense of his or her own personal worth and identity. The identity must be rooted in God and not by external measures of success.
In the last two sections, White offers guidance in the practical spheres of development and outreach (evangelism), as also on the organisation (both personal and corporate). He writes in detail about strategising, evangelism, organisation, leadership, team work, time management, and stress management. These qualities are important for effectively discharging the duties of a pastor.
The spiritual health of the church depends on the spiritual health of its pastor. The local church can establish itself only when it has a good pastor. The people of God suffer when there are no strong, godly leaders. White prescribes that the pastor must be personally moral, domestically faithful, relationally peaceful, doctrinally able, financially modest, and spiritually vital.
Pastors experience stress because of factors such as complex personal problems, family or marriage pressure, over work, financial difficulties, frontline spiritual warfare, criticism, discouragement, and