Hendrickson’s Ministry Essentials Bible Review – Rating: 9.2

Hendrickson's NIV MInistry Essentials BibleI  was very pleased to do my second review for Hendrickson as I received a copy of their New International Version Ministry Essentials Bible.  This one was a very pleasant surprise  and serves a specific need that many people have that are in different roles in ministry and Christian leadership.  I am very honored to do this review and I think this particular  Bible fills a much-needed role that many Christian leaders will find very beneficial in their ministry, whether they are experienced pastors, new pastors, lay leaders or missionaries, counselors or anyone in a leadership type of role.

In full disclosure, I was not required or requested by Hendrickson to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



**See all sections below for full detailed review**
I have seen ministry Bibles before so I was curious about taking a look at Hendrickson’s “NIV Ministry Essentials Bible” to see how it stacked up against the others that I have seen, such as Holman’s KJV Minister’s Bible.  Hendrickson’s NIV Ministry Essentials Bible is a tad on the thicker side (at 1 1/2″ thick) to where most people might opt for a thin-line Bible to carry around with them.  However, don’t let that dissuade you as the content in this Bible is very good. There are excellent teachings on many different subjects that people in ministry and Christian leadership will find very useful.  It contains around 250 brief, yet very practical articles that go along with  main themes of ministry such as Spiritual Leadership, Preaching Corporate Prayer and Discipleship, The Leader’s Spiritual Life, Shepherding Others and Evangelism and Social Justice and then are broken into different categories.  Also, following the text of the book of Revelation, there are over 60 pages of practical resources for ministry and leadership that cover pastoral events like Funerals, Grief Counseling, Hospital Visits and Weddings, to Church Events like Baptisms, Dedications, and more.  Going on with Family Events, and Life’s Tough Questions and much more.  From a design perspective, this Bible is very easy to read with a pleasing font and nice, clean layout.  I really think that if you are in Christian leadership of any kind, you will find that this Bible is very helpful in many situations that you will eventually encounter in your ministry.  I received a copy of this Bible in exchange for this review from Hendrickson Publishers and all opinions are my own.



Type of Bible:  Reference Bible and Ministry Help
Publisher: Hendrickson Publishers @hendricksonpub
Publish Date: September 1, 2014
ISBN-13 of Bible Reviewed: 978-1619704343
Bible Version: New International Version
Price:  At the time of writing this review, the cheapest place to get this book is at Christianbook.com.  They have it for $29.99 – suggested retail from the publisher is $69.95. Please note that these prices do not include any potential shipping charges.

If you would like to purchase this book, please support my blog and purchase by clicking any of the links to Christianbook.com on this page like the one below. If you want it in a different format, Click Here for those links listed below in this review.

704343: NIV Ministry Essentials Bible, Flexisoft, Black/Brown NIV Ministry Essentials Bible, Flexisoft, Black/Brown
By Hendrickson PublishersThe Ministry Essentials Bible, NIV is designed to equip church and parachurch leaders, missionaries, laypeople and ministry leaders of all kinds with the practical tools they need to manage everyday ministry issues. It provides busy leaders with succinct, wise, and applicable viewpoints on the most common facets of Christian leadership.250 practical articles—written by well-known Christian leaders such as Bill Hybels, Gordon MacDonald, John and Nancy Ortberg, Billy Graham, John Stott, and Francis Chan—complement the biblical text. The articles are divided into five main themes of ministry:

  • Spiritual Leadership
  • Preaching, Corporate Prayer, and Discipleship
  • The Leader’s Spiritual Life
  • Shepherding Others
  • Evangelism and Social Justice

The individual articles within this Bible provide basic overviews on topics from managing and motivating volunteers, toe managing conflict, to ministering to someone with an eating disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. This unique content is from the archives of Christianity Today is not found in any other Bibles on the market.

A practical Resource Guide provides guidance on various pastoral functions such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals.


  • 250 helpful articles on ministry interspersed throughout the Scriptures
  • Resource list for further reading
  • NIV Concordance
  • Blank pages for personal notes
  • Two ribbon markers
  • Gold page edges
  • 9-point text size
  • 9.75″ x 7.50″ x 1.75″

Physical Characteristics:

  • Imitation Leather
  • Gold gilded pages
  • Smyth sewn
  • Two black ribbon markers in this version
  • Double Column format
  • Words of Christ are not in red text
  • Inside margin cross references
  • 1,999 pages
  • Type size: It is a very readable 9 point for Scripture text and articles as well
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.9 x 10 inches
  • Approximate weight: 3.5 lbs


Pre-Scripture Text Pages

  • 1 Presentation Page
    • The typical presentation page that contains the Presented To, By, Date and Occasion for you to write in.
  • 1 page of Table of Contents
  • 1 page of the books of the Bible
    • Alphabetical order of all of the books of the Bible with italics denoting New Testament books
  • 1 page of Abbreviations
  • 4 pages of Preface
    • This is the typical letter from the translators for the NIV.  As I have said in many of my Bible reviews, I really can’t emphasize enough the importance of reading these types of articles in all Bibles – it helps you to understand more of the background of the translation and the drive behind the particular translation.
  • 4 pages of “How to Use This Bible”
    •  This section gives a very nice overview of the different features in this Bible.  Most of this section is geared toward the nearly 250 articles and how they are categorized.

Scripture Text Pages

Individual Book Introductions
The Book Introductions are nicely written and provide 4 points of information.  They include Background, Message, Time and a high level Outline.   The Background portion gives high level information about the book which varies by the book, but in general it gives the setting, context and or some history points to help the reader understand the book in context of the Bible story.  The Message portion really provides the high level overview of the spiritual message contained within the book.  The Time portion provides context as to when this was written as well as helping in some instances to understand what was going on at the time that it was written, whether event or people related.  The Outline portion is the typical outline that you see in most Bibles.

Example Book Introduction typically found

Example Book Introduction typically found

Theme Articles

They have included nearly 250 different articles that are brief, yet very practical for anyone in a leadership role of any kind.  They are pulled from varying resources an authors.  While I did not read every one yet, the ones that I have read are written very clearly and seem to be very practical.  These articles fall within 5 main themes and then break down into around 28 different categories.  These articles are written by very well known and respected leaders in ministry, including: Francis Chan, Max Lucado, John Stott, Ravi Zacharias, Jahn and Nancy Ortberg and many more.

Main Themes and the related categories for each with the number of articles included in each category in parenthesis:

  1. Spiritual Leadership
    1. The High Call of Spiritual Leadership (13)
    2. Navigating Change (9)
    3. Developing New Leaders (11)
    4. Leading the Church in Giving (8)
    5. Vision, Values and Strategic Planning (13)
    6. Managing Conflict (10)
    7. Creating and Leading Teams (9)
    8. Managing and Motivating Volunteers (12)
  2. Preaching, Corporate Prayer and Discipleship
    1. Fundamentals of Good Preaching (7)
    2. Cultivating Church-Wide Prayer (9)
    3. Building a Culture of Discipleship (8)
  3. The Leader’s Spiritual Life
    1. Spiritual Disciplines for Leaders (9)
    2. Spiritual and Emotional Health for Leaders (10)
    3. Character Issues for Leaders (10)
  4. Shepherding Others
    1. Foundations of Shepherding (10)
    2. Shepherding the Mentally Ill (9)
    3. Shepherding People through Trauma, Crises and Suicide (9)
    4. Shepherding Troubled Marriages, the Divorced, and Single Parents (8)
    5. Shepherding People through Grief, Illness and Death (9)
    6. Shepherding and Spiritual Warfare (6)
    7. Shepherding Families with Disabilities (10)
    8. Shepherding the Addicted and Their Loved Ones (8)
    9. Shepherding and Sexual Issues (6)
    10. Shepherding Married Couples and Singles (14)
  5. Evangelism and Social Justice
    1. Justice and Compassion Ministries (11)
    2. Your Role in Evangelism (11)
    3. Your Church’s Role in Evangelism (12)
    4. Global Missions Ministries (9)
Example of a Theme Article

Possibly one of the two main reasons why you should get this Bible are the Theme Articles

Cross References

Cross References are done in the inside margin of Scripture pages.  Fairly standard cross references, however, type is fairly small as you can see in the photo.

Cross references are in the inside margin

Cross references are in the inside margin

Translation Footnotes

These are the standard NIV translation footnotes that you would find in any NIV Bible.

Footnotes are the ones you typically find in all NIV translations.

Footnotes are the ones you typically find in all NIV translations.

Parallel Passages

The way they handle parallel passages is done at the beginning of the section of Scripture and shows the current section, then any parallel passage that is covered in other areas of Scriptures.  I like how they did this.  It’s pretty simple and clean.

Example of how Parallel Passages are handled

Example of how Parallel Passages are handled

Margins on Scripture Pages

There is some room in the outside margins to write some notes – not like a journaling or Notetaking Bible, but still, this Bible has a little more room than many other reference Bibles that I have seen.
– Top Margin (outside of Scripture reference on outside header) =3/4″
– Outside margin =7/8″
– Bottom (foot) margin =7/8″

7/8" margin at face and foot - 3/4" margin at head

7/8″ margin at face and foot – 3/4″ margin at head

Post Scripture Pages

  • Table of Weights and Measures
    1 page of the fairly typical chart that you see in many Bibles.
  • Practical Resource Guide Index Page
    1 page index that lists out the Practical Resources that are very handy to have at your fingertips.  You will find this index to be a very handy tool.
  • Practical Resource Guide
    60 pages of very practical helps for making anyone’s pastoral-care skills more refined and effective.  It covers many topics from events that typically happen to dealing with certain situations.  Topical categories (with multiple articles in each) include; Pastoral Events, Church Events, Family Events, The Christian life, Life’s Tough Questions, Helping People Cope with Change.  Plus there is a section for “Further Reading” which includes titles and publishers of many other books that dive into more detail relating to the aforementioned categories.  Along with the themed articles throughout the Scripture pages, this section is probably the one of the key benefits to picking up a copy of this Bible for yourself.  
This is probably one of the two strongest reasons to get this Bible.

This is probably one of the two strongest reasons to get this Bible.

  • Essay/Topical Index
    8 page index of the 5 theme topics and categories which lists out the article title and page it is found on.  Very handy when looking for specific topical articles.
Very handy index of the essays written in this Bible

Very handy index of the essays written in this Bible

  • Contributors
    This is a 9 page section lists out the many contributors that helped to provide either writing or input to the different articles or practical resources.
  • Further Reading
    10 pages of the further reading which provides different books and/or resources that are related to the topics covered in this Bible.  Very handy for when you want to dive into more details than what this particular Bible covers.  I do appreciate the fact that this was put together as a helpful resource rather than the publisher trying to just promote their own materials.  Very nicely done, Hendrickson!   A class act in my book.
Further reading ideas

Further reading ideas

  • NIV Concordance
    About a 75 page concordance for the NIV translation.  From others that I have seen, this one looks quite a bit more detailed than other reference Bibles.  Nicely done.
Fairly in-depth concordance

Fairly in-depth concordance

Typeface and Print:

  • Smyth Sewn which really helps to have a more durable Study Bible.
  • Scriptures are a very readable 9 point font, and the print is actually very nice
  • The font on the articles and book introductions are also done in a very readable 9 point font as well.
  • For a Reference Bible, this actually does have a decent amount of room in the margins to take notes in.  There is room in both the head (top), bottom (foot) and outside (face) margins (see the section above related to margins).
  • The line-matching (printed lines on the front of the page vs. the back side of the page aren’t consistently lined up.  I spot checked through random pages and most of them were off by about half a line.  The paper is really fairly opaque, so I wouldn’t knock down my rating like I have in some other Bibles that I have reviewed in the some of my previous reviews.  But it could be better, but unless you’re overly sensitive to line matching issues, you’ll be fine with it as is.



Below, we have the overall ratings that I would give to this particular bible with a 1 to 10 range.  Keep in mind that when I am doing these ratings, it is based on the physical makeup, format, extra-biblical content and value of the bible, not rating the Word of God itself as that would be off the chart  🙂

Quality:  9.3– This particular Bible that I received is imitation leather – has perimeter sewing and feels pretty sturdy in my hands, so I think it will stand up pretty well – especially since it is Smyth sewn.  You can get this in the genuine leather if you are looking for a higher quality binding (see the list below for links to the available formats).
Appearance: 9.5 – The appearance of this Bible is very clean – design and layout is done very nicely making it a very pleasant experience reading it.  The print of this Bible is very good.  Overall, it just looks really nice – nothing flashy, but just clean and nicely done.
Value: 9.1 – The value of this Bible is actually quite good – especially considering the reasonable price for what you get.  It is well worth the investment of purchasing a copy for yourself, but if you prefer better covers, you might want to go with the genuine leather option rather than the imitation leather one.
Innovation: 8.9 – I’m really not sure if I can classify this as an innovation, but the content of the articles and practical resources are so good, that I felt I had to give it a boost here.  These articles are done very well, succinct, yet so practical that you can really apply it right out of the gate to help you in your leadership or ministry role.
Other/Wildcard: n/a – No real wildcards to speak of to adjust the rating points for this Bible.

Overall Rating: 9.2 out of 10


Bible Formats and Options:

Here are some of the different formats that this Bible comes in per the publisher.  You can click on the ISBN number below for your preferred version to buy it from Christianbook:
ISBN: 978-1619704343 (Imitation Leather – Black/Brown – This review)
ISBN: 978-1619704367 (Genuine Leather Black)
ISBN: 978-1619705302 (Genuine Leather Black – Thumb Indexed)
ISBN: 978-1619704350 (Imitation Leather – Brick/Sand)

Publisher Summary:

From the publisher’s website:  Hendrickson Publishers has a strong history of producing outstanding academic, trade, and reference books at a reasonable price.

Through our academic publishing program, we seek to meet the publication needs of the religious studies academic community worldwide with works on the Hebrew Bible and Hebrew language, ancient Near Eastern studies and archaeology, New Testament and Greek language, biblical theology, Judaism, patristics, church history, historical theology, practical theology, and religion and culture. Hendrickson is also delighted to be partnering with the German Bible Society, the premier publisher of original language Bibles.

On the trade end, Hendrickson is pleased to offer a greatly expanded Bibles publishing program, including a wide variety of print, audio and DVD Bibles. Our products include books on Christian living topics, Biblical studies and reference works for both pastors and the thoughtful layperson, devotionals, and many of the Christian classics.

Hendrickson Publishers is committed to excellent customer service, with next-day service available, and hassle-free returns.


Please leave a comment or question and I will try to respond a.s.a.p.

– Michael

This entry was posted in Bible, Bible Reviews, Church Life, Church Ministry, Counseling, Evangelism, Hendrickson Publishers, LeatherLike, Ministry, Ministry Help, NIV, Pastor, Pastoral Book Reviews, Reference Bible and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hendrickson’s Ministry Essentials Bible Review – Rating: 9.2

  1. Reblogged this on Hendrickson Publishers Blog and commented:
    Check out Michael Harshman’s extremely detailed review of the Ministry Essentials Bible in the below review!


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