Richard Baxter, Puritan author of “The Reformed Pastor,” was famous for two things: being a tremendous pastor to a town in England, and getting constantly into trouble for being so blunt that he would make enemies of his friends. This book is about being a tremendous pastor. It is also goes straight to the point. Baxter starts at the beginning, with making sure the reader is truly a Christian, and progresses through disciplines, qualifications, and indwelling sin. He emphasizes the reasons why a pastor must be rigorous in his own spiritual life. He expounds reasons such as how many eyes are on the man of God, how difficult the work is, and how the honor of Christ depends on it.
Many notable ministers—including Spurgeon, Packer, Dever, and others—felt that Baxter’s book was essential reading for any man called to the ministry, to pin him against the wall and make him take stock of his ministry, his priorities, and his life before God, and to make him deeply consider about how best to "take heed over" himself and his flock.