It was early May when I first heard about the NIV Ministry Essentials Bible that was to be released by Hendrickson Publishing. So since then I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival. I had the privilege of reviewing a similar yet different bible from B&H Publishing the HCSB Ministers Bible which is still among my favorites, but it was the NIV Ministry Essentials Bible from Hendrickson that truly had my heart.
Well I was blessed to get my hands on it a few days earlier than its release and I must say, it was definitely worth the wait. The NIV Ministry Essentials Bible comes in 4 different formats. Genuine Leather (Black), Genuine Leather (Black) Thumb Indexed, Imitation Leather (Burgundy/Tan) and Imitation Leather (Black/Brown). I received the Imitation Leather in Black and Brown duo tone.
The cover, while not being genuine leather, has a very leather feel. What is most admirable is the fluid feel of the cover, which sits perfectly in the hand without being too bulky, yet remains sturdy enough that it doesn’t slip from your hand. This is in part to the top notch stitch work on the spine.
The inside of the bible is just as finely crafted as the outside. The page format is double column, with crisp large print, which sets perfectly on the page. While the print size is stated as a 9 point setting, it definitely appears to be larger than that. While I would normally say those with visual impairments may want to wear their visual aids, with this particular bible I do not see that as being the case.
Some of the features of this Ministry Essentials bible are the articles dispersed throughout. There are 250 such articles which are broken into one of 5 different themes. Spiritual Leadership; Preaching, Corporate Prayer, and Discipleship; The Leaders Spiritual Life; Shepherding Others; and Evangelism and Social Justice. These articles are written by some of the biggest names in Evangelicalism such as Max Lucado, Gordon Macdonald, Henri Nouwen, Stephanie O. Hubach and many others. These articles are designed to help strengthen ones ministry work by covering topics such as how to rally and motivate volunteers, Managing Conflict, Ministering to someone with an eating disorder or PTSD and other unique scenarios.
There are also resource guides towards the back of the bible that give you the tools to handle certain pastoral functions such as Weddings, Baptisms, Funerals and much much more. Just as I said with the HCSB Ministers Bible, this bible is perfect for College Campus Leaders, Counselors, Worship and Lay Leaders, Sunday School Teachers, Missionaries, and really anyone that has a leadership role that is coming from a Christian standpoint.
As an Episcopalian, I take my baptismal vows seriously. This particular bible I feel would be essential in aiding in two parts of the Baptismal Covenant. “Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?” and “Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?”
Evangelism is an essential part of what we are called to do. But let’s face it, how many of us as we are currently are properly equipped to spread the gospel in an effective way to those who have been scarred by things in their life or the church? Not many of us. But this bible definitely gives us the tools to more efficiently spread the good news of Christ and his love for ALL of us. So I not only recommend this bible to those I mentioned above, but I recommend it to you!