If you haven’t read Paul Tripp’s Dangerous Calling: Confronting the Unique Challenges of Pastoral Ministry, I can’t recommend it to you highly enough. It’s vintage Tripp: punchy, pithy, and full of gospel glory. Here’s a passage on the pastor’s devotional life (p. 35):
I am more and more convinced that what gives a ministry its motivations, perseverance, humility, joy, tenderness, passion, and grace is the devotional life of the one doing ministry. When I daily admit how needy I am, daily meditate on the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and daily feed on the restorative wisdom of his Word, I am propelled to share with others the grace that I am daily receiving at the hands of my Savior.
There simply is no set of exegetical, homiletical, or leadership skills that can compensate for the absence of this in the life of a pastor. It is my worship that enables me to lead others to worship. It is my sense of need that leads me to tenderly pastor those in need of grace. It is my joy in my identity in Christ that leads me to want to help others live in the middle of what it means to be “in Christ.” In fact, one of the things that makes a sermon compelling is that the preacher is worshipping his way through his own sermon.
You can order Dangerous Calling here.