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What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church Paperback – April 15, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The answers you need to plan, run, or grow your church

Pastors and church leaders are constantly faced with tough questions. What size staff does the church need? How many workers are needed in the nursery this month? When is the right time to start a second worship service? How many people should we train for evangelism this year? How does seating and parking impact worship attendance?

What Every Pastor Should Know offers 101 valuable rules and time-tested wisdom to help answer real-life ministry questions. From advertising to facilities to visitation, this valuable book offers the practical help you need, just when you need it most. This comprehensive guide will become one of the most valuable books in your library.


"This book is fantastic! There is no doubt that it will be on my shelf as a reference for years to come."--Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO, LifeWay Christian Resources

"An incredible reference guide . . . the practical information in these pages is essential knowledge for those of us who want to lead growing, effective churches."--Nelson Searcy, lead pastor, The Journey Church; founder, www.ChurchLeaderInsights.com

"Every pastor should read this book."--Elmer Towns, cofounder, Liberty University

"Well researched, comprehensive, specific, and practical."--Eddie Gibbs, professor emeritus, Fuller Theological Seminary

"A wealth of insights for pastors on the day-to-day issues of leading an effective church."--Ed Stetzer, author, Subversive Kingdom

"This is one of the most practical and useful books I have ever read from two of Christianity's long-standing giants. I dog-eared so many pages I soon realized it would have been simpler to dog-ear the less important ones. Keep this book on your desk and refer to it before taking any ministry step. It's that good!"--Clay Jones, Outreach Magazine

About the Author

Gary L. McIntosh (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president of the Church Growth Network and professor of Christian ministry and leadership at Talbot School of Theology. He leads seminars and has written twenty books, including Biblical Church Growth, Beyond the First Visit, and Taking Your Church to the Next Level. He lives in Temecula, California.

Charles Arn (EdD, University of Southern California) is professor of Christian ministry at Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University, and president of Church Growth, Inc., where he is responsible for research, design, and development of instructional materials. He has thirty-four years of experience in leading training events for churches and denominations throughout North America and the world. He is known as a leading voice in the church growth movement. He lives in Glendora, California.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Books (April 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801014352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801014352
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr Conrade Yap TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 15, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is common knowledge that pastoral ministry is among the toughest place to work. At the same time, it can be extremely enriching and satisfying when one sees lives change for God. It is not about making money. It is about touching lives. It is not about material success, but spiritual growth. It is not about self-accomplishment, but about humble service. Like all organizations, the pastoral ministry is also about leadership, with the pastor as a crucial member of the leadership structure. While some churches are more hierarchical than the rest, and others are less, the importance of the pastor cannot be overstated. The Scriptures remind us that if we are blind, we may very well be part of the blind-leading-the-blind movement. Here is where this book shines. Containing 101 and "indispensable rules of thumb" for Church leaders, it covers 15 major aspects of Church. There are rules for:

- Evangelism and Outreach
- Visitors and how to welcome them
- Worship
- Connecting with newcomers
- Small groups
- Christian Education
- Care
- Volunteer Matters
- Programs and Planning
- Staff and Leadership
- Facilities and Maintenance
- Finances
- Change
- Revitalization
- Demographical awareness and Strategies

Designed for the busy pastor and church leader, the chapters are brief and to the point. Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn, both experienced in the pastoral ministry have come together to merge their expertise, knowledge, and in-depth personal encounters on all things church, to give us a book that contains the best tips for pastoral work. They have combed many seminars and consultations, researched and even written on such matters in the past, and condensed many of the best ideas into this one book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I find myself reading and rereading these little gems of instruction and motivation. Some of them won't work in my setting but many of them will and it's like having an encouraging friend there to poke, prod, and support you with wisdom.
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This book is appropriate for Pastors and Education Ministers that gives general rules for small group sizes, growing a church, challenges that halt the growth of the church, and general understandings that can help avoid problems before they happen. It is a clear book and written on a academic level.
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This a reference tool, a book to refer back to with specific questions. It is statistically and biblically based and exceptionally helpful in creating points of reference and context for church leaders. Pastors should get this book and keep it close at hand to refer to when questions of growth, finances, etc. arise.
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Format: Paperback
Are you a pastor? Would you like a book that gives answers and practical ideas for almost every area of church leadership?

Gary McIntosh and Charles Arn cover so many bases in this book it was difficult for me not to skip over many sections. (In fact, I did skip some parts)

How should you advertise your church and ministries? Covered
How to get ideas that resonate with your congregation? Covered
Best ways to make guests feel welcomed? Covered
How to handle staff? Covered

There is so much more to this. This is a one-stop Q&A for anyone in leadership.

If nothing else, this book will give you a jolt in the ideas department. The ideas are practical and easy. Some authors write hundreds of pages in what these two can do in a few paragraphs.

Excellent resource.

This book was provided for review, at no cost, by Baker Books.
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interesting and right on the money, definitely written by "someone on the inside" who knows what it's really like to be a pastor. honest, genuine, great ideas for "doing it better" without putting you down for the dumb mistakes you've made in the past
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Format: Paperback
I am an M.Div student taking an elective in Newcomer Integration. This is one of the books I elected to read from the course's reading list. I am so glad that I choose it! Not only is it well-written, but there are so many helpful tips that can be implemented in almost every church setting. I would definitely recommend this book to others in ministry. If there was one book I could give as a gift to another pastor or leader, this would be it!
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What Every Pastor Should Know is just the reference book it sounds like. 101 rules of thumb divided into 15 sections covering such topics as evangelism, small groups, revitalization, and more. These rules of thumb, which McIntosh and Arn are very careful to offer with appropriate cautions in the introduction (all churches are different, these are just guidelines, etc.), are each given in four parts: the rule itself, a brief introduction, a longer explanation, and a set of practical suggestions.

Though the subtitle of this book indicates that the rules are about "leading" a church, it really should have read "growing" a church. This is not a criticism, merely a clarification. The rules offered here are very much a product of the church growth movement. Thus, the underlying assumption that leading church is really about growth. This does not mean that other topics are completely neglected; you will find rules covering the topics of prayer, taking care of staff, guiding volunteers, and so on. It simply means that within each subject there is a definite slant towards the question of what will make your church larger.

With that clarification in place, let me share a few thoughts on this book. It is a reference book filled with rules of thumb. That means that they are not intended to be strictly accurate or applicable in all situations. Any reader of this book needs to take what is offered, not more. It is not a complete book on being a pastor. Many important questions are not addressed here at all. There is very little theology, other than one rule about spending 15 hours or more preparing a sermon there is little about preaching, etc. In general, the personal and spiritual side of thing is left out. Still, for what it is, it is good.
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