His sheep will wander off to other fields or die of starvation.”1 In the section about Pastoral Ministry in History, there is more focus on witnessing community and worshipping as a community. “A history of pastoral ministry must begin in the Old Testament. The theme, ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ (Ps. 23:1), expresses the pastoral role of God with his people.”2 The pastoral role, from a Biblical perspective, is primarily concerned with the minister’s ability to shepherd keeping God’s laws in mind. Of course, as much as the Old Testament is important, it is of premier significance that the New Testament is also focused upon to some extent—because it qualifies many of the harsher statements put forth by the God of the Old Testament. Indeed, it was Jesus who came to give freedom and set the “captives” free—whether it was liberation from psychological slavery, physical entrapment, illness, or poverty. Today’s ministers, the book argues, should try to do the very same, baptizing adherents in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as the mandate given to disciples in Matthew 28. B. Part II. Preparatory Perspectives Preparatory perspectives in ministry deal mainly with how the person ministering can prepare for serving his or her flock. The preparatory action includes many facets, such as making sure to pray and study the Word of God on a regular, daily basis. The element of Bible study cannot go without careful attention being paid to what is the message that God has for us today as ministers. For example, one might be reading a passage that directly relates to one’s life in a way that might not have been visible at first. However, with regular fasting from food—even if it is something as simple as skipping a meal to pray—this can help ministers also. However, MacArthur focuses mainly on prayer and Bible study in order to accomplish the level of preparedness needed by today’s ministers in the field. C. Part III. Personal Perspectives Personal perspectives of ministry cannot be avoided. The Character of a Pastor is one of the subsections talking about what the minister’s ethical underpinnings should look like, in effect. “The first way [God provides leadership] is through his Word…The second way God provides direct guidance to each local church is through the giftedness of people He has sovereignly given to given to each church.”3 Of course, there are always going to be multiple elements which are tied up with peoples’ character in ministry. This is especially true of the minister’s prayer life. In fact, there is a section entitled The Pastor’s Prayer Life which includes the following statement: “ ‘Abiding’ is at the heart of the Christian life according to the greatest of all shepherds, Jesus.”4 So, at its true core, shepherding is about following the example of Jesus and then letting the parishioners or church members follow in those steps. Pastors and ministers are to lead by example (which will be mentioned in the next section).