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Seven Practices of Effective Ministry Hardcover – August 18, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (August 18, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590523733
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590523735
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,362 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


For many years, I practiced and taught church growth. What I have witnessed as a member at North Point takes church growth to a whole new level. Andy and his team communicate principles that will add value to you and the church you love.
-John C. Maxwell, founder, The INJOY Group

Every professional athlete recognizes the value of solid coaching. The best are always working to get better. From what I ve seen at North Point, these seven practices can improve the game of any church in America.
-John Smoltz, Cy Young Award-winning pitcher

The practices covered in this book are down-to-earth, practical, and come from real difference-makers who know what church leadership is all about. Andy, Reggie, and Lane have definitely hit the ball out of the park with the Seven Practices of Effective Ministry.
-Ed Young, Jr., senior pastor, Fellowship Church --Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Andy Stanley is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and the founding pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta , Georgia , with a youthful congregation of more than 12,000. Andy is the author of the 1998 Foreword Book of the Year finalist Visioneering, the bestsellers Like a Rock and The Next Generation Leader, and the recent How Good Is Good Enough. Andy and his wife, Sandra, have two sons and a daughter.

Lane Jones is a native of Atlanta , Georgia , where he lives with his wife, Traci, and their three children, Jared, Caitlin, and Madison. He is on staff at North Point Community Church , where he loves to write and participate in the creative process. Lane holds degrees from Georgia State University and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Reggie Joiner is the executive director of Family Ministries at North Point Community Church . He leads the staff responsible for children, student, and married adult ministries. He is also creator of FamilyWise, a nonprofit ministry aimed at helping churches and families teach kids character and faith. Reggie lives with his wife, Debbie, and his four teenagers - Reggie Paul, Hannah, Sarah, and Rebekah - in Cumming , Georgia .

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 104 customer reviews
Awesome and very easy book to read!
This book will change the way you think about what you do, and will give you a simple thought process to help you discern busy-ness from effectiveness.
Dan Snook
I really recommend this book to every ministry leader.
Alex Ankudovich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Khoo on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book has been a highlight in my reading this year! It has challenged me to look deeper into what needs to be done in ministry. The 7 Practices are (1) Clarify the Win, (2) Think Steps, Not Programs, (3) Narrow the Focus, (4) Teach Less for More, (5) Listen to Outsiders, (6) Replace Yourself, and (7) Work On It.

The book begins with a parable, much like that from authors Spencer Johnson or Ken Blanchard, where the 7 practices are being explained in a story about a pastor with a situation in church where he needs help in. The story begins with the pastor thinking whether he should go for a board meeting (which he was dreading to go), or to go for possibly the most important baseball game that season. In order not for me to spoil your reading, I would not go further but to say that the story will wet your appetite for more.

The book continues to explain each practice not only with clarity, but ending each chapter with a list of questions. It is often that we jump from problem to answers not realizing our answer to the problem may not really be moving us forward. Hence, to have the right answers, we need to first ask the right questions, and this book provides hard questions for us to evaluate where we are. The book can be assumed as a coach for any person in ministry, asking the right and tough questions, and the answers that you come up for those questions would be the process to go toward. This is because every ministry is different, but the questions the same, and your own answers to the questions would suit that context of ministry you are in.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Page 67 has contains a brief disclaimer that begins with the following sentence: "The principles and practices described in this book are not and cannot be a substitute for God's blessing or power." I love that disclaimer.

Church growth architects tend to love books like this. Theologians and contemplatives hate them. Don't allow yourself to be sucked in by either side. Quality pastoral ministry has at least four dimensions: pragmatic, Spirit empowered, personal, and public. This book focuses on the pragmatic. In doing so it found its nitch.

Written in story style, which is designed to appeal to post moderns, this book offers 7 principles, which if followed, will most likely enhance any pastor's ministry potential. Pastors, you owe it to yourselves and your congregations to keep as up to date as possible on all facets of ministry. Get this book. It is worth its price.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joe Cotta on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Book relys completely on man’s wisdom… even when God’s principles are suggested, there is no reference to the Bible. This is just a ripoff of a good business book (7 habits of highly effective people) using secular principles and applying them to a church. Here are the 7 steps and how the contradict God’s plan for us…

Clarify the win – goal setting
God provides the goal – not us. God uses us for His purpose, so creating a goal for the sake of knowing when it is accomplished lends itself to secular thinking. If my goal is winning people to Christ, I’m sunk, because I have no ability to do that… only to be used by God for this purpose. Since saving is a work of the Holy Spirit, I cannot get frustrated when people are not getting converted. I must rest in knowing that I was faithful with what God called me to do. My goal is a relationship with Jesus and being faithful what what He has called me to do... A goal should not be changing lives (example in the book)... What was Jeremiah's goal... how many converts did he have? Book starts off bad from very biggining.

Think Steps, not Program – making a plan
Making a plan is good, but only through prayerful consideration. Otherwise, we can end up doing God’s will our way. Continual dependence on God is difficult if we make our own plans and become obsessed with sticking to it. However, God is a planner and making plans under spiritual influence is wise.

Narrow the focus – consider your focus and keep it there
There is an emphasis on sticking to what you’re good at… pitchers don’t need to be good hitters. However, God could call a pitcher to be a hitter… in that case, you’ll never step out in faith by adhering to your strong talents.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on February 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Andy Stanley is senior pastor at the multi-campus North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Reggie Joiner and Lane Jones also serve at North Point, leading its Family Ministry and Member Development programs respectively. "7 Practices of Effective Ministry" describes the leadership philosophy and practice at North Point with the idea that the reader (presumably a church leader) will be able to implement North Point's strategy or at least glean helpful information to make their church more successful.

"7 Practices of Effective Ministry" is divided into two parts and each is designed to convey North Point's 7 Practices in a unique way. The first part of the book is the fictional story of Pastor Ray who skips a church council meeting to attend big league baseball game. He ends up sitting next to the wealthy, successful owner of the team who spends the game explaining the 7 Practices. The fictional story (which was well-written and enjoyable "light" read) applies each of the 7 Practices to both a winning baseball team and to church leadership. The second part of the book is a fleshed out presentation of the 7 Practices that fits the typical Leadership Book genre. The Practice is presented as well as the rationale, potential pitfalls, and anecdotes from North Point. Each chapter ends with discussion questions to make the practice more applicable to the reader's particular ministry situation.

The 7 Practices (in my own words) are:

1) Clearly define what constitutes a "win" or "victory" in your ministry

2) Recognize that programs are not ends in and of themselves, but only steps that may help you gain a "win.
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