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

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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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: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #461,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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This is a wonderful book. It was purchased for school the author relayed the information in a way that made it easy understand and grasp the concepts that were being presented. This a must read for anyone in a leadership position in the church or someone who is in the process of beginning a church.
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