Item description for High Call, High Privilege by Gail MacDonald...
Overview Learn biblically-based principles for ministering to people and living a ministry life from a seasoned ministry wife, Mrs. Gordon (Gail) MacDonald. There is something here to fit just about everyone's ministry world: the excitement, the struggles, the blessings, and the consequences. This work is thoroughly revised and updated from the author's best-selling 1981 book of the same title, and is now available in paperback. The book is designed for casual reading, but it also includes discussion questions for study group or classroom use. Gail MacDonald loves the ministry. Over a period of four decades, she has been involved with four congregations and one parachurch organization with her husband, Pastor Gordon MacDonald. Throughout the book you will take a tour through these years of shared ministry. Like Paul the apostle who gave and received much from the churches, Gordon and Gail look gratefully at the journey they have shared with these distinctive groups of people. It is Gail's prayer that readers will see their own uniqueness in God's design, never trying to be anyone but themselves, the people God intended them to be. When you are finished reading, she hopes that you have heard one unmistakable message, that a life of ministry in the church is still a high call, a high privilege.
Publishers Description Learn biblically-based principles for ministering to people and living a ministry life from a seasoned ministry wife, Mrs. Gordon (Gail) MacDonald. There is something here to fit just about everyone's ministry world--the excitement, the struggles, the blessings, and the consequences. This work is thoroughly revised and updated from the author's best-selling 1981 book of the same title, and is now available in paperback. The book is designed for casual reading, but it also includes discussion questions for study group or classroom use. Gail MacDonald loves the ministry. Over a period of four decades, she has been involved with four congregations and one parachurch organization with her husband, Pastor Gordon MacDonald. Throughout the book you will take a tour through these years of shared ministry. Like Paul the apostle who gave and received much from the churches, Gordon and Gail look gratefully at the journey they have shared with these distinctive groups of people. It is Gail's prayer that readers will see their own uniqueness in God's design, never trying to be anyone but themselves--the people God intended them to be. When you are finished reading, she hopes that you have heard one unmistakable message--that a life of ministry in the church is still a high call, a high privilege.
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Studio: Hendrickson Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.11" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.68" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Apr 1, 2000
Publisher HENDRICKSON PUBLISHER #40
ISBN 1565635574 ISBN13 9781565635579
Availability 0 units.
More About Gail MacDonald
Gail MacDonald and her husband ministered for many years at Grace Chapel in Massachusetts. They have now retired in New Hampshire and devote much of their time to writing.
Reviews - What do customers think about High Call, High Privilege?
Great, especially for new pastors' wives! Jul 24, 2008
I've read this book twice and have given it as gifts to new pastors' wives. The author is very transparent and generous in sharing difficulties she's faced in ministry. Gives a lot of hope and encouragement for those in ministry.
High Calling, High Privilege Feb 21, 2007
"Even in those cheerless time which will come, we can affirm that they are neither the terminus nor the norm of experience. Instead, they are points of growth from which can emerge a clearer vision of how to reflect the splendor of God and the joys of personal relationships. God means for us to finish strong."
This quote is from the introduction to Gail MacDonald's book-High Call, High Privilege: A Pastor's Wife Speaks to Every Woman in a Place of Responsibility. I like this quote because "finishing strong" is something that I think about and pray for often. At the end of Paul's life he writes to Timothy,
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7)
I remember reading this verse in a Bible class my first year of college and being inspired by Paul's confidence. I talked about it with my professor after class because I was baffled that Paul could say "I have," I asked my professor if that was a little arrogant and assumptive of Paul. At the time I thought most people should say it this way, "I've tried to fight the good fight, I've finished as much of the race as I could, I've done my best to keep the faith." The professor explained to me that through God's power, Paul was able to accomplish all that the Lord had called him to do in this life. God had saved Paul and then had completed the good work He had started in him. He said, "God can do this work in your life too, so that one day you could say these things with confidence."
High Call, High Privilege is a testimonial/autobiography of MacDonald's journey through life in church ministry. Her statement "God means for us to finish strong" is a theme that stood out to me throughout the book. Even when she faced disappointment, testing, pain and brokenness, she viewed them as "points of growth" in her walk with the Lord and was able to find joy in them. Her story was a huge inspiration to me of an example of a supportive wife, loving mother, and gentle and nurturing friend to all around her.
This book is brimming with practical lessons. As I read it I began to put in to practice some of MacDonald's disciplines that have shaped her life and ministry. MacDonald writes in such a personal way-weaving Biblical thought throughout her story-I began to think of her as a mentor to me. Some of things the Lord taught her were so encouraging-
Tend The Fire Within
In the first chapter MacDonald presents this concept of "time at the fire." She tells a story that as a new Christian, she heard an old missionary speak and he said, "Untended fires soon die and become just a pile of ashes." He said that the fire burns in the heart of the one who follows Christ and this flame cannot go unmanaged or it will dwindle into ashes.
"My life was altered by that simple statement...It all begins with the fire within and your heart attitude. Tending the fire within is another way of talking about being open to the presence of Christ. It is what makes me long for his likeness, offers direction and stability, established proper motives and responses. Here is is that the real issues of the Christian faith are thought out and pressed into action." (p. 2)
I really liked this analogy of my relationship with Christ as a fire. John gives us an account of Christ with His disciples that made this concept poignant for me. In John 21 Christ is risen and the disciples see Him and make their way to shore. When they get there He is sitting with a fire and breakfast. This idea of us meeting Jesus at the "fire" to eat and learn is profound. Spending time in prayer with the Lord, studying His Word is vital and this is where life starts. Until this is understood and actualized all we are doing is in vain.
MacDonald closes her thoughts on this concept by writing:
"It takes time to come to the fire, it takes effort to keep the fire burning, it takes a willingness to become quiet enough to hear what God might be saying and it takes courage to snuff out the competing sounds and demands that attempt to shorten or neutralize the effect of the fire time.
But here is the great choice that must be made virtually everyday. Do I give priority attention to tending the fire within, or do I surrender to the alternatives of busyness, hurry, people pleasing, or the seemingly urgent that slowly starves my spirit and my resolve to be the woman God wants me to be? If that fire burns brightly, I share the experience of the disciples; of it dwindles unattended, I am gradually surrounded by a chill marking the onset of weakness and confusion." (p. 5)
Romans 12:13 commands believers to "practice hospitality." Hospitality is a spiritual gift (1 Peter 4:9) and one I have seen the Lord develop in my own life. I really gleaned from MacDonald's thoughts on this-
"We decided to use our home as a tool...Gordon and I wanted to know people better and to serve them. We were hoping that people would be drawn to one another as a result of being in our home. Those nights added a warmth and an acceptance in many people's hears that would not have happened had we not developed such close contact."
What a beautiful lesson. This so resounded with me, that I immediately talked with my husband about making our home open to people so that we can know and serve them. I desire those same things MacDonald shares for my home. Too often we feel disconnected and distant from people in our church bodies, even friends, because we allow ourselves to become too busy and closed to be bothered with having to straighten up the house and fix a nice meal. I hope this is something the Lord will continue to work out in our lives as we make ourselves more open to people by being hospitable to them!
What is your sermon?
If you are a wife of a husband who teaches, you know the rigors that a pastor puts into his sermon. Each week I try to devote myself to helping Bobby prepare his sermon. That doesn't mean I'm sitting with him going over Greek verbs and Bible commentaries. But I try to do what it takes to help him prepare a sermon that will be a tool in God's hand to work in the lives of our students. MacDonald writes about supporting her husband in this way and shares about an insight her husband had about her asking,
"What is Gail's sermon? It's the home she prepares for the children and me. Gail preached her sermon when she cooked a meal...kept the house neat, and planted flowers in the front yard."
I really related to this concept of a "home" sermon. MacDonald writes about how her husband wanted to hear and enjoy the "sermons" in her life. This point was particularly motivating for me because I asked myself, "Do I give myself rigorously and carefully to what God has called me to do?" God has called my husband to preach sermons. He has called me to do something for Him. Am I working diligently to deliver those "sermons" in my life?
I have benefited from numerous other lessons from this book. MacDonald writes about marriage, children, relating better with people, being a godly friend. If you read this book, do so with discernment, as you should respond to everything. Some of her conclusions I did not share-she writes a lot about the temperaments. In chapter ten she reveals a dark time in her life when she struggled through the pain of her husband having committed adultery. For a couple of weeks I couldn't finish reading because I had come to respect this couple so much and then was bulldozed by the grueling reality that this pastor and husband had not kept his calling. I was very disappointed, not by the fact of sin, but that the two of them kept this secret for a time while he still held the position he was no longer qualified to hold. Later they even returned to the position of pastor, so the book's end was not as high as it started.
I would recommend this to any woman who's life is devoted to ministry, not just a pastor's wife. I was sharpened and encouraged by MacDonald's journey and I hope that someday I will be able to look back over so many years and see God's hand at work in my life and our ministry.
A Mentor in a Book Mar 4, 2005
This book was very encouraging to me because I felt that the author was my own mentor, as I am preparing to be a pastor's wife. She shared so many personal life expereinces, which I can tell will be relevant in my own life. I am thankful for her incredible encouragement to women and the transparency of her spiritual walk. This book will encourage you too!!
Honest View of Ministry Life Apr 10, 2003
Even for someone not in full-time ministry this book really shows an example of what one could face when you committ your life to God's work. I would recommend it anyone either in ministry or considering it. And though it's for women, any man, either married or engaged to a woman who will be involved in ministry would find it useful to see what she will be dealing with.
A Gem Dec 5, 1999
This book is thought provoking, encouraging, and convicting. I was changed in the reading of it. Buy it, read it, again and again.