A Field Guide
In 1924, the first Brethren Pastor's Handbook was created by J. Allen Miller, G.W. Rench, and Dyoll Belote. Its purpose was to resource the local minister in their context. Though it has been updated numerous times since it remains a deep resource for Brethren Pastors.
"The minister's duties are so varied and frequently so pressing upon him that he welcomes, if he is an earnest and effective worker, every suggestion that offers help. There is scarcely a relation of human life, no matter how sacred and joyous or how tragic and distressful, into which a Pastor is not called to enter. Upon all such occasions, the individual resources frequently are too limited to make possible the best service. Here, again the faithful and sincere worker gladly accepts any help afforded. Once again, the administration of the affairs of the Church, the celebration of Ordinances and Sacraments of the Church, and the conducting of public and special services lays a heavy toll upon the skill of the Pastor and Preacher. The work of the minister should be carefully, prayerfully and decorously done. Beauty, order and harmony in the services, whatever their nature may be, will always attract people to the church. Dignity, spirituality and meaning will always edify. The right way will always be the best way. The one purpose of this HANDBOOK is expressed in the words of Paul in I Cor. 14:40. "Let all things be done decently and in order."
The authors assume all responsibility for matter herein contained. We offer it to our Fellow- Pastors with the prayer that it may be useful and serviceable as a means toward greater efficiency in the work of the church. A book like this is to be used and not abused; in other words, every trained and judicious pastor will know how to adapt and use such a book as this to his needs upon any occasion."
J. ALLEN MILLER, G.W. RENCH, and DYOLL BELOTE August 1924