Do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to read Dr. Russell Moore’s testimony. It will both challenge and encourage you. Here are some tidbits to prime the pump:
My favorite figures from church history would come down to a tie between Irenaeus of Lyons, a man who recognized the centrality of Jesus in all of Scripture and who challenged the winds of doctrine in his day, and Andrew Fuller, a fiery theologian-evangelist who confronted the winter chill of high Calvinism with a gospel worthy of all acceptation.
My favorite authors are Wendell Berry, C.S. Lewis, William Faulkner, Walker Percy, Wilie Morris, Shelby Foote, Russell Kirk, Allan Carlson, and George Eldon Ladd. My favorite modern books are Percy’s Signposts in a Strange Land and Berry’s Life Is a Miracle.
My advice to pastors is to saturate yourself in the English Bible. I think it is important to know Greek and Hebrew, that’s why we require it here. But it is more important to know the whole Bible, the storyline, the connections, the focus on Jesus than it is to know how to look microscopically at a pericope. I also advise young pastors to love their people, avoid the smug superiority that comes with a movement, whether that movement is “more Reformed than thou” T-shirt Calvinism, hip emerging church faddishsness, or technologically-obsessed church growth relevance.
Finally, I advise pastors to follow the Elijah/Elisha, Jesus/John, Paul/Timothy model of discipleship. “Mentoring” is too programmatic a word, but I’m not sure with what to replace it. I have been shaped and formed by things as seemingly undramatic as drinking coffee with Albert Mohler in a Denny’s off the highway in Michigan, hearing about how he prays and how he witnesses, how he handles conflict, how he avoids bitterness.