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Steering through Chaos: Mapping a Clear Direction for Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change Paperback – January 31, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (January 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3103246374
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310324638
  • ASIN: 0310324637
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Endorsements for Steering through Chaos

Scott Wilson's book, Steering through Chaos, will give you important principles to help you endure the painful decisions during times of change. Scott's insights will help your church grow stronger and reach more people for Christ. I wish I'd had this book years ago.
--Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv and author of It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It

Steering through Chaos is absolutely inspirational, but it's also earthy. I love the way Scott shares simple yet profound truths that have the potential to transform your leadership.
--Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church and author of Wild Goose Chase

Pastor Scott Wilson has done it, and now he's written the manual to show us how to do it too. Steering through Chaos is revelational, practical, insightful, and "principle packed." Every pastor and church leader needs to read this book.
--Robert Morris, Senior Pastor of Gateway Church, Southlake, TX

I've read many books, listened to many sermons, and studied many models dealing with the topic of change and transition, and I must say that Steering through Chaos is one of the best. In this book, Scott Wilson captures the pain that often comes when God takes your ministry to the next level, but at the same time, he gives the reader much needed hope for the journey. Through God's grace and Scott's specific gifts, Scott has penned a manual that is profound and practical, transparent and thought-provoking, challenging and comforting. I recommend it not only for pastors but for every leader in the body of Christ.
--Eddie L. Long, Senior Pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church

Steering through Chaos shows us how God's greatest promises happen only when we submit to his deepest intrusions into our lives. Scott Wilson understands that genuine change is disruptive and, ultimately, a very personal experience. His transparent communication style leaves little doubt as to why he has become such a powerful young leader.
--George Wood, Superintendent of the Assemblies of God USA

Either you will lead your personal and professional transitions or your transitions will lead you. In either case, it is about steering through chaos. Scott Wilson personifies the principles in his book. His transparency and genius in assimilating painful transitional lessons will prevent shipwreck for those who are in the middle of change, and he provides a map for those still in the harbor.
--Dr. Samuel R. Every growing church experiences change. Today's church leader faces the intimidating task of moving from old ministry models to new ones. In his book, Scott Wilson shares invaluable insights learned from successfully navigating the transition at the Oaks Fellowship. His book will inspire and equip you.
--John Lindell, Lead Pastor of James River Assembly

Every senior leader who is honest with himself understands that the heart of leadership is providing direction through organizational transitions. Scott Wilson understands this truth and has lived it out in his ministry at the Oaks Fellowship. In his new book, you will have the opportunity to experience the journey and be encouraged and challenged by the principles he outlines.
--Greg Ligon, Vice President of Leadership Network

Scott Wilson hasn't written just another leadership cookbook supplying recipes that never quite seem to work as well as advertised. Steering through Chaos is written from his experiences with triumphs and struggles--from the real world where pastors live every day. Scott's passion to know God and his heart for lost people make his insights practical and spiritual at the same time. I recommend this book to anyone who has a vision, wants a vision, or has lost a vision. Scott Wilson has supplied us with clear guidance on how to discover and develop God's dream for our ministries.
--Earl Creps, Berkley church planter and author of Reverse Mentoring

Scott Wilson represents a fresh new generation of pastors. He has successfully taken the baton from one generation of leadership and transitioned his church to the next level with gusto. This book is a must-read for the thousands of churches and leaders who desperately need to reinvent their churches to become relevant or are fed up with the plateaus where they have settled.
--Kirk Pankratz, Senior Pastor of Church of the Harvest

Scott Wilson is a young church leader who understands and appreciates his spiritual heritage while at the same time is keenly cognizant that the church in America is undergoing unprecedented and necessary change. Out of this natural tension, his practical experience, and his love for the church, Scott is uniquely qualified to speak to the topic of transition in a manner that is worth the attention of any church leader who is grappling with it.
--Les Welk, Superintendent of the Northwest Ministry Network

It is a privilege for me to recommend Steering through Chaos because I know firsthand that Scott Wilson is an excellent leader. I've watched him grow one of the most dynamic churches in America. This book is filled with valuable content for anyone desiring to grow a church. Scott gives practical insight about navigating through the challenges of transition, all based on proven principles and actual experience. If you want to grow and climb to the next level in your life and ministry, this book is for you.
--Gerald Brooks, Senior Pastor of Grace Outreach Center, Plano, TX

I love a book that takes me on a leadership journey rather than merely teaches leadership lessons. All Christian leaders--no matter their position or the size and style of their churches--should read this with their whole team. I can't wait to read it with my entire staff.
--John McKinzie, Lead Pastor of Hope Fellowship, Frisco, TX

Scott Wilson is a great coach to me, the kind of mentor he describes in Steering through Chaos. His passion for Christ and his kingdom and for pastoral leadership is capsulized in this powerful book. Scott has painstakingly lived these principles, which can be applied to any ministry at any stage.
--Rick Thiemke, Lead Pastor of New Life Church, Yorkville, IL

This book confirms what I already knew to be true: Scott Wilson is an incredible coach for pastors. I've been involved in a coaching relationship with Pastor Scott since the beginning of my tenure as lead pastor, and he has helped me navigate transition time and time again. Steering through Chaos takes Pastor Scott's principles and makes them available to every church leader. Add this book to your list of resources for you and your team--today.
--Jeff Kossack, Lead Pastor of Mesa First Assembly of God

If anyone can write the book on leading through transition, it's Scott Wilson. God has used Scott to lead a great church through transition and into amazing effectiveness in reaching the lost for Christ. Scott's wisdom and experience have been priceless resources to me and the church I serve. This book puts his insight in print and is a gift to pastors and leaders who want to see God do great things through their lives.
--Chad Gilligan, Lead Pastor of Calvary Assembly of God, Toledo, OH

Scott's book has helped me understand the practical reality of leading a church through the necessary, and sometimes painful, transitions needed to become God's "unique thumbprint" in our community. His insights on leadership have made a profound impact on me and the leaders of our church. Scott's straightforward approach has helped our church take steps that we never knew how to take before. For the past year and a half, I've had the privilege of having Scott as a personal ministry consultant. I cannot imagine my ministry today without his insights. He has truly been a "dream releaser" in my life.
--Pastor Wayne Putman, Church of God of Exeter, CA

From the Back Cover

Don't predict on change in your church...plan on it

Steering through Chaos helps you plan for change by developing a communication strategy, enlisting support, and building momentum to lead your staff an congregation through transitions. Scott Wilson provides the insight, inspiration, and courage you need to make the difficult choices that will keep your church moving forward.

The challenges of leadership often multiply during times of transition. Wilson examines the building of new facilities, the changing of staff structure, the addition of new services, and the transition to becoming a multisite ministry, among others. Each chapter includes discussion questions.

"Steering through Chaos will help your church grow stronger and reach more people for Christ. I wish I had this book years ago."
- Craig Groeschel, Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv and author of It

"I love the way Scott shares simple yet profound truths that have potential to transform your leadership."
- Mark Batterson, Lead Pastor of National Community Church and author of Primal


More About the Author

Scott has been in full-time pastoral ministry for more than 20 years. He is the Senior Pastor of The Oaks with locations in Dallas, Red Oak and Mesquite Texas. In the last three years, the church has experienced robust growth, nearly tripling in size - now ministering to more than 3000 people each week. The church currently offers five worship experiences every weekend at three campus locations to accommodate the growing congregation. Scott is the CEO and founder of Scott Wilson Consulting, an organization that exists to come alongside church and marketplace leaders to enable them to achieve the full potential of what God has called them to do. His vision is to strengthen and empower God's leaders to fulfill their destiny and dreams. Scott and his father, Dr. Tom Wilson, lead one of the most innovative public school systems in the State of Texas. Life Charter School currently educates over 3000 students in four locations in the Dallas area. Under Scott's visionary leadership, The Oaks School of Leadership (formerly known as Master's Commission of Dallas) was founded in 1993. This school of ministry is in partnership with the Southwestern Assembly of God University in Waxahachie, Texas, and all students receive a quality, fully accredited college education. The primary purpose of OSL is to train and equip the best leaders in the Kingdom of God and to be a leadership pipeline for the multi-site ministry of The Oaks and it's partners around the world. Scott is the author of two books: The newly released The Next Level: A Message of Hope for Hard Times (Baxter Press) and Steering Through Chaos: Mapping a Clear Direction in the midst of transition and change (Zondervan). Steering Through Chaos (available for pre-order through Amazon) provides leaders the insight, inspiration, and courage they need to anticipate change, prepare for transitions, and make the difficult choices that will keep their churches moving forward. Scott is a loving husband and proud father. Scott and his wife, Jenni, have three boys: Dillon, Hunter, and Dakota. The Wilsons live in the Dallas area.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to every church and ministry leader.
Joe Mayo
I just finished a great book by Scott Wilson called Steering Through Chaos: Mapping a Clear Direction for Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change.
Paul Church
All kidding aside, I'm very glad I got to read this book right now.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By George P. Wood TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
By the time most churches choose to change, it is almost too late. They are in crisis and decline. They are experiencing opposition rather than momentum. Scott Wilson's Steering through Chaos offers church leaders valuable insights about how to make changes while their churches are growing and experiencing momentum so that they experience greater levels of faithfulness and fruitfulness in ministry.

Scott is a personal friend; senior pastor of The Oaks Fellowship in Dallas, Texas; and an ordained Assemblies of God minister. The insights he presents in this book are biblically grounded, organizationally savvy, field-tested, and passionately presented. I have read many books on church leadership and church growth. They apply best practices from the business world to the church world with real insight and effectiveness. Scott does so here as well, where appropriate. But he also offers this timely reminder:

"Certainly, we can learn valuable lessons by looking at the way a business organization is operated and led, but ultimately we need to remember that Christ is the head of the universal church and of every local body of believers. The church doesn't exist to make a pastor's plans a reality; it exists to live out Christ's vision for his body and for our community."

Scott's big on a church carrying out Christ's vision for the community. He writes, "Vision isn't something I determine--it's something I discover as I walk with God day after day." Christ's vision for the church keeps leaders from small-mindedness, but also from big-headedness. The problem is that pastors let their sight get focused on things other than the vision Christ has for their churches.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pastor Kitner on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
Steering Through Chaos
I have had the privilege of reading through the new book by Scott Wilson called "Steering Through Chaos".
There are books and there are books. This one deals with the real things of ministry and leadership. It is relevant and it deals with everything from "Turning Points and Transitions to Endurance". It deals with handling people of the congregation and getting them on board with the vision as well as the staff getting and staying on board with the changes, touching the important points of getting the job done without losing the people who are in the same transition as the leadership.
In our Christian experience the constant is change. The question is: how do we negotiate through all the changes that come our way both in our personal life and in the ministry and the leadership problems that are part of it?
The book deals with the areas that seemingly present overwhelming obstacles to ones success and gives one good instruction on how to approach these areas. It is a timely bit of information for me as far as addressing some things that are going on with me now in the ministry and leadership as we are in a place where we are looking to build a new building which looks like an impossible task for us.
"Steering Through Chaos" deals with the leadership in the ministry with instruction to seek God for all involved and not just with business principles. This is a plus because there is a raft of "how-to books" out there that leave out the pressing in to God for direction in the leadership of the overall ministry, which is more than a business or corporation.
The book takes one from vision to step by step direction to go through to completion and actual construction or initiation of a new phase of the work.
I would recommend this book as a necessary read for those involved in the chaos and challenge of constant change in the ministry and fulfillment of the vision of God.
God bless you richly,
Pastor Kitner
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jared Blankenship on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
I was a little skeptical in reading this book because I have been fed up with most of the church growth material that I have come across. My reason is that I usually feel that there is a disconnect on the spiritual side of being a leader found in most church growth stuff. But I was pleasantly surprised in reading "Steering Through the Chaos." I won't give away too much of what is said, but I really feel that the author gives a good balance between listening to God for a vision and then trying to move the church in that way. While I don't think there is a fail safe manual on church transition, I believe that this book gives some very good thinking points in trying to navigate such a time. I would recommend this book and in fact I am passing it along to someone who I think could benefit from hearing the author's story and how he steered through the chaos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kris McGarvey on March 18, 2010
Format: Paperback
I can hear voices all over the country saying, "where was this book 10 years ago?" or "where was this when we were building the new building or launching that new ministry?" It's just one of those books you wish you had had at some earlier point in your journey. But since it wasn't available then, one would have to assume that God is going to use this book to prepare you to lead through the chaos that is yet to come. There is a greater harvest coming which will mean we have to change the way we've been doing things and this Scott Wilson's book will be a great asset to you to accomplish this task.
Over the years I've also heard a number of people in leadership say, "I wasn't trained to do that" or they back away from what needs to be done and continue doing things the way they are comfortable. Leadership is not comfortable. Wilson's statement early in chapter 1 simply says, "Your church will grow only to the level of your pain threshold" resonates with many of us.
This is a book that I will keep handy in the coming days. It's a great resource. It's a reminder of how to do the things that will pave the way for all the changes that need to be brought about. We are fortunate. We don't have to make the same mistakes. We can read, pray and learn from the unique insights of Scott Wilson.
There are great questions at the conclusion of each chapter designed to help clarify the path you are to steer to. These questions would also make a great study for a church staff or church leaders to do together.
The book is peppered with Scriptures, personal experiences (which is an extension of the transparency Scott Wilson has developed and is needed in all leaders as they motor down the path God has prepared).
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