HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Preachers and Preaching: A Comprehensive Study of the Church-Preacher Relationship
Author: James P. Needham
Publisher: Truth Magazine, 1969
Related website: www.truthbooks.net/ (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Older teen boys and adults
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Needham, James P. Preachers and Preaching: A Comprehensive Study of the Church-Preacher Relationship (published in 1969 by Truth Magazine). Author James P. Needham, whom I consider a personal friend, was born to Edward W. and Myrtle A. Needham at Troy, TN, in 1927. After serving in the U. S. Army during World War II, he married Maria Dechert of Frankfort, Germany, went to Freed-Hardeman College (now University) in Henderson, TN, and began preaching the gospel on a regular basis in 1951. He served as editor of Torch Magazine for several years and currently lives and works in Orlando, FL.
In the fourteen chapters of this book, Needham discusses nearly every possible aspect of the church-preacher relationship—the preacher from a scriptural standpoint, man-made qualifications for preachers, God’s qualifications for preachers, man’s concept of the preacher’s duties, the preacher’s duties to the gospel, other preacher duties, duties to the brethren, church problems with preachers, financial support, problems with employment practices, the moving game, keeping the preacher, “preacheritis,” and the preacher shortage. Obviously, this book would be of most interest to preachers and those who are thinking of becoming preachers. However, it would be good for others, especially elders and the men of congregations who make decisions regarding preachers, to read to help them understand how God wants them to treat preachers.
Originally a series of fourteen articles published in Truth Magazine, Preachers and Preaching is NOT a book on how to preach—i.e., studying the Bible, preparing lessons, etc. For that kind of information, one would have to read other books. Rather, it is a book on how to be a preacher and how to act towards preachers. My copy was given to me upon my graduation from high school in 1972 by my good friends Ken and Norma Weliever who knew of my aim to become a preacher. At that time, Ken was the local preacher in my home congregation at Hillsboro, OH. The book is still available from the publisher, although I understand that it has been revised since I received my copy, which was an original printing.