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Advanced Strategic Planning: A New Model for Church and Ministry Leaders Paperback – August 1, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aubrey Malphurs is professor of pastoral ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary, the author of over a dozen books, and president of the Malphurs Group. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books; 2 edition (August 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801091810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801091810
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,359 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Aubrey Malphurs (Ph.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is the senior professor of leadership and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary and founder of The Malphurs Group.

As a consultant, Dr. Malphurs has invested himself and his team at The Malphurs Group ( in helping Christian leaders better serve their church and communities. His strategic planning process (found in "Advanced Strategic Planning"), approach to leadership development ("found in "Building Leaders") and church planting process (found in "Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting") form the foundation for the Malphurs Group's consulting, training, and coaching.

As a pastor, Dr. Malphurs has led three different local churches in various parts of the United States and abroad. His experience and passion for the local church help him and the Malphurs Group team to serve, equip, train, and coach those God has put in leadership over His church and other Christian organizations and businesses.

As an author and researcher, Dr. Malphurs has consulted with nationally renowned pastors, top theologians, as well as denominational leaders to craft resources and strategies to equip the church and its leaders. As a professor, Dr. Malphurs has trained and mentored thousands of students at Dallas Theological Seminary ( as well as many other schools around the nation. His students reap the benefit of thousands of hours spent serving local churches in the US and around the world. He is the author of numerous books, including:

- Advanced Strategic Planning
- Being Leaders
- Building Leaders (co-authored with Will Mancini)
- Leading Leaders
- The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting - Outreach Magazine Leadership Resource of the Year for 2012)
- Money Matters in the Church (co-authored with Steve Stroope)
- Developing a Vision of Ministry in the Twenty-first Century
and many more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Brian Prucey on April 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
Malphurs asserted that the typical church in North America is aimlessly adrift (9). Such aimlessness is the result of churches and their leaders failing to do the hard work of thinking through their mission and developing the strategies necessary to accomplish that mission. Three reasons primarily account for the lack of strategic planning: lack of understanding of the need, unfamiliarity with the process, and the deemphasizing of strategic planning within the business community. Historically, strategic planning in the business world adhered to a static model; that is, planning assumed business forces would not change significantly enough to alter the strategic plan. The reality was different from the assumptions and company plans ended up lying on a shelf unused. Malphurs desired to provide church leaders with a concise and workable model for strategic planning. His model comprised a seven-step process that takes into account the many forces influencing the ecclesiastical world. Malphurs accomplished his objective in a well-organized book free from the techno babble often found in similar works.

Critical Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses

The book's title is somewhat overstated. Advanced Strategic Planning is really the basics of strategic planning. Malphurs's principles are very elementary. An advanced book would assume some level of prior understanding of the process. Instead, Malphurs gave his readers a detailed primer on the subject. That said, Malphurs did an excellent job of succinctly outlining the planning process. He began with a discussion of the church and leadership's readiness to commit to the strategic planning process followed by ways to stimulate creative and strategic thinking.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Archie Luper, on January 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
As a consultant to churches in the area of strategic church planning and leadership development this book is one of the best on the subject. If your church wants to get re-focused and re-energized for ministry a comprehensive planning process is a must. This book will help guide you through the process. Malphurs suggestions for facilitating planning sessions, i.e. storyboarding, workouts, etc., is worth the price of the book. See our web site for a strategic planning bundle with recommended books and resources for faciliting a planning process in your local church.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David R. Bess VINE VOICE on December 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read some of the negative reviews listed for this title, and I must strongly disagree. Malphurs' work here is the best treatment of strategic planning for churches I have found to date. In place of the term "advanced" in the title, a better word would be "comprehensive." Nonetheless, Malphurs here provides a handbook addressing church planning that is unrivaled today in breadth and insight.

As a pastor of twenty years, I wish this book had been available when I first started in ministry. I hope this title is now offered in many seminaries, because its content would be a gold mine for young, soon-to-be church leaders. Pastors, church staff members, and lay leaders, this volume is a must-have. In my opinion, it is required reading for anyone involved in church leadership.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on February 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Aubrey Malphurs, author of many books on parish leadership and strategy, is a professor of Pastoral Ministries at Dallas Theological Seminary and is also the president of the Malphurs Group (a training and consulting firm for churches). "Advanced Strategic Planning" is a book that seeks to assist a congregation to move from a stage of stagnation and plateaued growth to a period of change and revitalization.

Malphurs's introduction lays out his belief that all institutions essentially operate on a bell curve (aka "sigmoid curve" or "s-curve"), that an institution begins and experiences rapid growth in virtually all dimensions, then begins establishing routines, the routines entrench themselves and become a source of comfot to those in the organization, then the institution declines and dies. Malphurs argues that institutions (and especially the church) should, as soon as they recognize plateau, should re-invent or re-structure themselves to experience a new period of significant growth. This necessitates the re-invention and re-structuring of countless aspects of church life and organization. "Advanced Strategic Planning" takes a church through the change process in a step-by-step manner.

Throughout the book, Malphurs draws upon his wealth of experience as a pastor, interim pastor, professor, and consultant to take a church through the strategic revitalization process. He addresses many pitfalls and stagnation traps, reasserts the importance of following through on the process, and pastorally encourages the church leaders to carry on. He stresses the distinctions between values, missions, and functions in a helpful way. Most valuable for this reader, he spends much time defining and showing the importance of communicating a vision.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By William R. Turner on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Professor Malphurs' book is a helpful guide for those needing church consultation from a conservative, Evangelical perspective. The book lays out a basic four-fold method for strategic planning: mission, vision, goals, and objectives. I find the format helpful in laying out a plan to implement a successful strategy for whatever a local church might seek, whether it is a new direction in ministry or a new church building program for an expanding congregation.

The book has helpful insight into local church life expectancy and also hits home with how to arrive at a consensus in light of the general politicking that goes on in every congregation to one degree or another. Malphurs' discussion of decision making, church patriarchs, board member dynamics, and other similar observations are certainly worth the price of the book for any person currently in, or planning on, a ministry career.

The book also engages with Scripture frequently, though theological methodology is normally not a strong suite for any `practical method' book. However, I think Malphurs does well enough in his explanation of Nehemiah to use the book as a guide for a Christian church strategic planning session. I don't think you have to do any sort of biblical gymnastics to come to that conclusion, though the rebuilding of the temple by the post-exilic covenant people to worship YHWH in the Promised Land doesn't simply transfer right over either. However, that being said, I don't think he stretches it too far and I appreciated the biblical engagement and foundation.

In conclusion, I really believe this book is strongest in the areas of brainstorming and creativity for the leadership/pastoral staff of a local church.
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