Pastor, it's time to turn down the noise and focus on what matters.
Today's pastoral world is packed with books, conferences, and seminars teaching you different techniques for being an all-star pastor, growing your church quickly, and changing the world. But the key to true success is much harder and much simpler. Pastors are called to be faithful, to have exemplary character, and to love Jesus. Without faithfulness, their ministry ends up harming others rather than helping them. Churches need pastors with sound doctrine and a sound life.
Character Matters was written to help you slow down, cut through the noise and distractions, and focus on what matters—the fruit of the Spirit. Each chapter is a guided, biblical meditation on one aspect of each piece of the fruit of the Spirit. As you reflect and focus on the simple things that matter, you'll see your heart change and your ministry follow, slowly, surely, and by the power of the Spirit.
Praise for Character Matters
These meditations on the Pauline fruit of the Spirit by a seasoned pastor have their matrix in the actual practice of pastoral ministry and are thus felicitous in achieving the goal of this book: namely, the vital reminder that character is absolutely central to the task and calling of the pastorate. Earlier generations knew this well. My favorite pastor from the past, the eighteenth-century Englishman Andrew Fuller, once commented that behind eminent usefulness in the kingdom of God lies eminent spirituality. Menikoff's study is a much-needed reminder of this truth. Yes, ours is a very different day from that of Andrew Fuller, but the truth is the same.
—Michael A. G. Haykin
Chair and Professor of Church History, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Character matters, and it matters a lot when it comes to those men who are called to pastor the churches of the Lord Jesus. Connecting character to the fruit of the Spirit summarized in Galatians 5:22–23, my friend Aaron Menikoff provides both challenge and encouragement to the undershepherds of the Great Shepherd. This book will serve church leaders well.
—Daniel L. Akin
Sixth President of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Character Matters is written by a pastor for pastors, but I would recommend it for pastors' wives, missionaries, Bible study leaders, and every other Christian who wants to see more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit in his or her life. Aaron Menikoff is the real deal, transparent about the challenges of ministry and even his own weaknesses. He humbly cares for others, loves the church and desires to glorify the Lord in his life and his shepherding. This comes through in his book, which is full of insightful truths that will help you examine your heart and grow in Christlikeness. As I read, I was convicted and challenged but always encouraged as gracious words pointed me over and over to the work of our Lord Jesus as the foundation for any good fruit. Read this book and let it spur you on to Spirit-wrought character.
Pastor's wife in Dubai; author of The Good Portion: Scripture and the Delighting in the Word Bible study series
In a culture that values competency over character, Christians need to be reminded that the ascended Christ calls faithful men to lead his church by example. Pastors are to set an example for the flock of God among them (1 Peter 5:2–3): "in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity" (1 Tim. 4:12). Aaron Menikoff understands this call. He also understands the rigors of ministry and the temptations pastors face. So, in Character Matters, Menikoff calls church leaders to reflect upon their personal holiness—through the lens of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–23)—in order that we may lead by example. Brother pastors, our people need godly examples to follow. Take up this book and begin reflecting on God's work of grace in your life, asking Him to produce God-glorifying fruit, that your people may follow in your steps.
—Juan R. Sanchez
Senior pastor, High Pointe Baptist Church, Austin, TX; author of The Leadership Formula: Develop the Next Generation of Leaders in Your Church
In his book Character Matters, Aaron Menikoff gives pastors/church leaders a clear, biblical blueprint for leading and growing a healthy church. Menikoff helps the reader move past any devotion to a "style over substance" approach and reveals the impact that can only be made by a Spirit-filled life. Character Matters is rich in practical and theological application. It is a must read for every pastor who wants to avoid many modern-day pitfalls in church leadership.
—W. Thomas Hammond Jr.
Executive Director, Georgia Baptist Mission Board
I needed to read this book. I need to read this book. I will need to read this book. Aaron has done a sweet service to pastors in crafting a book that reminds them they are sheep! This is a book about a pastor's first ministry, namely, to walk close with the Lord and bear much fruit as a disciple. It's warm, convicting, and full of grace—just like its author. As I read Character Matters, I found myself thinking after almost every page, "man, I really, really need this." Perhaps, dear pastor, you do as well. This work will definitely spur you on to love and good works in your personal walk with Jesus.
Pastor, Risen Christ Fellowship