Evan: Tell us about yourself?
Geoff: I grew up mostly in Houston, TX. My parents immigrated from Taiwan and I grew up in Houston Chinese Church, where I heard the gospel, and was saved and baptized. After college, I worked for a few years in business consulting, but began sensing a call to ministry. After seminary, I served as a pastoral assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, and then as associate pastor at Hinson Baptist Church in Portland, OR. During my time at Hinson, I began PhD studies at Midwestern Seminary and I wrote my dissertation on C. H. Spurgeon and his ecclesiology. In 2020, MBTS approached me about joining the faculty there, and after praying about it, my wife and I made the move. Today, I have the privilege of teaching church history and serving as the curator of the Spurgeon Library here at MBTS. My wife and I have three kids, who are a joy and a handful!
Evan: What was the writing process for this book like?
Geoff: When I began my PhD studies, I reached out to a mentor for advice on a dissertation topic and he encouraged me to look into Spurgeon’s ecclesiology. I knew something of Spurgeon’s preaching and the remarkable fruitfulness of his ministry, but I quickly realized that very few people had examined his view of the church. Particularly, I was interested in researching his pastoral ecclesiology. How did Spurgeon care for a church of 5,000+ members? How did he fence the Lord’s Table with so many visitors each Sunday? What was the membership process of the church? Did he practice church discipline? And many other such questions. So I had the opportunity to spend four years researching Spurgeon’s sermons, writings, church minute books, and more. And what I discovered was that even though he was in a unique, mega-church context, serving a unique time of revival, Spurgeon basically remained steadfast in a historic Baptist ecclesiology. This book, then, takes the research that I did for my dissertation and repackages it primarily for pastors and church leaders.
Evan: What would you hope that readers will get from this work?
Geoff: My goal is to present Spurgeon as a normal Baptist pastor, who held to biblical and theological convictions as he went about his pastoral ministry. Rather than being tempted by fads and pragmatic methods, Spurgeon models for us how we can strive for convictional faithfulness in our ministry. For all who read this book, I hope that they will grow in their love for the church and their conviction that the Bible has something to say to us about how we “do” church. For pastors and church leaders, my hope is that this book will provide a wise conversation partner for the many questions and challenges we face in ministry today.
To learn more about the work and resources of the Spurgeon Library, visit www.spurgeon.org.
To purchase Spurgeon the Pastor, visit https://www.bhpublishinggroup.com/products/spurgeon-the-pastor-2/.