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Help for the Small-Church Pastor Paperback – August 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (August 14, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310499518
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310499510
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Churches of less than 150 remain the rule rather than the exception in American Christianity. However, seminaries don't equip their students in every way that's necessary to effectively lead smaller congregations -- despite the fact that most seminary graduates will becomes small-church pastors. Help for the Small-Church Pastor offers pastors of small churches the guidance and encouragement they need. In this common-sense book, Steve Bierly draws from his eleven years in ministry to show what makes smaller congregations tick. Help for the Small-Church Pastor provides practical insights on uniquely "small-church" issues, such as-- The characteristics of small churches - How to work effectively as an "insider" within the small church - How God is at work in powerful ways in smaller assemblies - How to motivate your church toward positive change and true growth - How to invest your own time and energy in the right directions - How your church can reach out to the community in ways that are practical and productive -- "There are many ways for even the smallest congregation to be true to the church's calling," says Steve Bierly. Help for the Small-Church Pastor will steer you through the strengths and weaknesses of your small church to unearth its true riches.

About the Author

Steve R. Bierly is the pastor of American Reformed Church in Hull, Iowa, where he lives with his wife, Deborah, and two children. He is the author of Help for the Small-Church Pastor and How to Thrive as a Small-Church Pastor.

Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
We can't wait until something "big" happens to celebrate.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett
This is essential reading for small-church pastors who struggle with the unreasonable expectations of their congregation and who need encouragement.
Book Lover
If you are a small church pastor, this is the book to read.
L. Bell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Donald W. White on April 18, 1998
Format: Paperback
Within _Help for the Small-Church Pastor_ you will find that Steve Bierly seems to have firsthand knowledge of one's church and the true feelings one has about his or her congregation. As a pastor of a small church in the Northeast, Bierly speaks as one who has "been there." He does not offer various recipes for numerical growth. That is not the purpose. It seems his primary task is to encourage the correct perspectives and attitudes for the leader in the small church. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, "To be blunt, the sins of impatience, jealousy, discontent, and walking by sight instead of by faith are behind some of the frustrations that small-church leaders experience. We want what other congregations have and we want it *now*!"

He encourages such ministers to rejoice with even small progress, just as a parent does with a child. Pushing one's own agenda upon the small church, no matter how pure the motives, can result in a backlash of mistrust and resentment. The minister was not called to the church to apply "prepackaged, ready-made answers. Instead," according to Bierly, " the pastor is supposed to work with the family to find solutions that seem reasonable to everyone." The small church has a culture all it's own, and the smart church leader will be dedicated to learning that culture and becoming "one of them," as opposed to an outsider whose only desire is to change things, running over long-held traditions in the process.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Terry W. Dorsett on November 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book does not provide fad-driven quick fixes. Instead it offers advice on how the pastor can maintain a proper perspective of the advantages and challenges of small church ministry. While the entire book is good, perhaps the most powerful point is the importance of celebrating small steps in the small church. We can't wait until something "big" happens to celebrate. We must celebrate the small things, and the more we celebrate them, the more things worth celebrating start to happen.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on June 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
I cannot begin to tell you how much Steve Bierly's books on the topic of being a small-church pastor have meant to me. Again and again, I go back and reread his practical and useful ideas. This is essential reading for small-church pastors who struggle with the unreasonable expectations of their congregation and who need encouragement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Delbert G. Freeman on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across this book just after it was published and it transformed our life. We were in one of "those" churches and my wife was wondering why the folks were treating us as they were. After one very intense business meeting, my wife was in tears and ask again, "Why do these folks hate us so?" I recommended this book. She was in no shape to read it that night. In the morning when I got up, I could not find her anywhere in the house. Then I saw her on the carport, reading this book. The woman who was in tears the night before, walked into the kitchen and, with a smile, said, "Now I understand."

In reading this book, do skip over the Introduction. Especially the last paragraph. Without saying it in so many words, the scenario in that paragraph sets the theme for the book.
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More About the Author

Steve R. Bierly's family always knew he would be a pastor from the time when he, as a toddler, admonished his mother to "Be Ye kind" as she was about to punish him for raiding the cupboard and purposely spilling a box of cocoa all over the floor. But Steve wasn't convinced. In his young adult years, he toyed with the ideas of becoming a disc jockey or a TV writer. But the verses in Ephesians about God giving pastor/teachers to The Church to prepare God's people for works of service touched Steve's heart and called him into the ministry. He's now (2012) been an ordained pastor for 30 years, and currently serves American Reformed Church in Hull, IA.

Steve's married with two adult children and a daughter-in-law. He enjoys reading theology (really!), collecting comic books and movies and TV shows, walking, NBA basketball, and golden-oldies rock-and-roll.

A graduate of Roberts Wesleyan College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Steve has authored books on Christian living, church leadership, and Popeye The Sailor!! He is an editorial writer for the Sunday School Guide and a regular columnist for The Official Popeye Fanclub News-Magazine.

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