My favourite book on Pastoral Ministry is “The Work of the Pastor” by William Still, he had a remarkable 50 year ministry in Aberdeen and his writings in many ways are unique, sometimes quirky but it’s freshness and wisdom shines through. I found the below very helpful…..
“Next to the Ministry of the Word, the most fruitful pastoral duty is to help all sorts of odd sheep to live together, and show them how to live in the world amongst goats without becoming goats. One of the great lessons of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is how the saints should fit in together. The greatest sin is to refuse to fit in, and want to stick out like a sore thumb, drawing attention to oneself. Some have to be shown by the Word, and in private conversation, that soul-cure is largely a matter of learning to live and worship together. The testimony of a true Christian church ought to be how Christians love one another including the ‘odd bods’. Christ likes odd bods. I sometimes say nearly all the fruitful Christian ministers and fruitful laymen I know, are odd bods. But they are odd bods with a mission, a mission to fit other odd bods, along with themselves, into a fellowship” (p51)