Let me add a word of recommendation to Mike's post below introducing you to Brian Croft's new blog, Practical Shepherding
Last week, Brian Croft and his father, Dr. Bill Croft, greatly blessed the interns and some of the staff at Clifton Baptist Church when they came and talked to us about pastoral visitation. Brian's final words to our group are still ringing in my head. He rightly reminded us that God's word is central to the pastor's ministry, and preaching is very important. But the danger in many of our churches is the idolization of the preacher at the expense of the trench work of ministry. God’s word needs to be central, but the centrality of the word plays out not just in preaching, but in reading scripture to the sick person in the hospital (and their families!), visiting shut-ins and praying with them, etc. Brian rightly encouraged us to remember the trenches of ministry and preach God’s word here. And if we're doing the trench work faithfully, it will culminate in our teaching, preaching, application - in short, our whole ministry. Brian knew the vanity of my own heart, and the attraction to be sucked into the perceived areas of glamour. May God give us grace and humility to find joy here in the trenches. Read his books, his blog, and enjoy the trench work!