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Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them: Help for Frustrated Pastors--Including New Research From the Barna Group Paperback – March 1, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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"Five Ministry Killers should be required reading for everyone involved in ministry--pastors, other church leaders, and seminary students alike." --ForeWord Magazine

"A delightful guide to anyone in ministry...Get it, read it, enjoy it, and then learn." --Elmer Towns, co-founder of Liberty University, Dean, School of Religion

From the Inside Flap

What Frustrates You in Ministry? You probably began your ministry believing you'd make a kingdom difference. That dream may now seem elusive. Perhaps your journey has brought more frustration than happiness, and you wonder if it's time to move on, or out. Have you searched the Web for openings in other churches recently? Thought about selling insurance? Getting your Realtor's license? Every church is different, and the situations you face are unique to your setting, but common threads are found in many churches. Using customized, commissioned research from the Barna Group and others, veteran pastor Charles Stone points to five potent killers in pastors' lives: 1. A head-in-the-sand mentality that denies problems 2. Emotional investment in the wrong issues 3. Unhealthy responses to ministry frustrations 4. A Lone Ranger attitude that says "God and I can handle this" 5. Attitudes and actions that lead to lonely, hurting spouses Stone then uses his thirty years of pastoral experience to unpack these problems so you can regain real hope and energy to continue in your calling. No unrealistic advice or simplistic solutions. Just hard questions and straight answers that will lead to healing and restoration for you and your congregation. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764208543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764208546
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,215,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zachary Montroy on April 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
5 Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them is an incredible resource for anyone who's in full or part time ministry. In essence, the book is what life is like in ministry, it takes an authentic look at what get's us going and what brings us down. I appreciated the "real" research from Barna that was included in the book, it wasn't filled with anecdotal statements, Charles really looked at what we perceive failure to look like and what our congregation believes failure is... It's a real life look at ministry and how we can get better at it. I appreciate the time and effort that was put into making us ordinary pastors feel like we have a real resource we can go to and make us better at what God has called us to do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author shared openly about his own battles with ministry killers and how applying the information that he shares in the book helped him to move forward. The book also contains good data based on solid research and is written in such a way to help the reader identity his or her own struggles and develop a plan for moving forward.
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Format: Hardcover
Pastor Stone has been a pastor for 30 years and has seen other pastors and ministers....crash and burn...in their ministries. Pastor Stone points to the five potent killers in pastor's lives as:

1. A head-in-the-sand mentality that denies problems
2. Emotional investment in the wrong issues
3. Unhealthy responses to ministry frustrations
4. A Lone Ranger attitude that says "God and I can handle this"
5. Attitudes and actions that lead to lonely, hurting spouses.

Praise God for Pastor Stone's enlightenment and very open view of how Pastors and those in ministry can defeat the attacks we may encounter. I love my church family and love the fact that there are so many that consistently check on each other. "Burn Out" is something we are always making sure the other doesn't feel.

Chapter 7 -Open Up with Vulnerability (Do You have a safe confidant?) spoke to me. It reminded me of a quote "Loneliness is not the absence of people but the absence of connection".

I am proud of my church and my church family...but I am glad to find a book that will enable us, as body of Christ and family, to care for each other better.
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Format: Hardcover
Although I am not a pastor I gained quite an insight into their problems. This book would be of benefit to members of the congregation as well as ministers. The book is divided into common problem areas and contains many different solutions to the problems but always suggestions on ways in which to recognize the situations before they develop into problems. There is also an excellent area on problems encountered by a pastor's wife. Dr. Stone has used extensive research data and has ripped apart the veil of "everythings just fine thank you" that covers a multitude of burnout and disappointment in the life of a pastor. Excellent reading for everyone involved in churches.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a pastor for 26 years, I've grown skeptical of finding answers in books, but this one is the most practical and helpful book I've ever found, and it helped me to have a very honest and liberation conversation with our Elders just last week.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gives the best information on the dynamic in churches that destroys ministers and churches. Excellent resource and a must read for clergy, church staffs, and leadership of all churches. Good study resource for boards and sessions.
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Jerrie Barber reviewed this book in his monthly publication. I am thankful that he did. This was an excellent book for ministers. This book really hits at some of the issues that ministers deal with in churches. It goes to the heart on most of the issues. These types of books are helpful because one can relate to the author. He deals with struggles, because all ministers deal with issues. The complexity of the life of the minister can be difficult to understand at times. There is this odd dynamic that happens. The book deals with some of the common frustrations that ministers have. The number one frustration is lack of commitment from members in the congregation. This is interesting, it seems that ministers care more about the organization of the church, than personal discipleship. The reason that ministers care about the numbers and the size so much is because these are tied to the ego of the preacher. Preachers have fragile egos because on one side the preacher is praised a lot, and on the other the preachers are attacked a lot. You are always being built up and torn down on a weekly basis. If the numbers are up, this in some way times us that we are doing good. In a position in which one really never knows, this is all we have to operate on. The last part of the book is excellent because he talks about what a preacher can do to be healthy. He provides a few habits that can help. He mentions open up, own up, show up, and speak up. Reading these are great for reflection and being healthy as a preacher. I really believe that this is one of the must reads for ministers in the church. After reading this book, I feel that I am healthier and better off as a preacher of the Gospel.
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Format: Hardcover
As director of Barnabas Ministries, I work primarily with hurting, wounded, troubled, burned out or burning out, sinning, and even blessed but tired pastors and their families. As a 'gatekeeper', I also accumulate resources for those in church leadership. This would include retreats, counseling centers, intercessors, vacation getaways, books, CD's, DVD's, and the like.
Charles Stone, in his book "Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them" is currently high on my list of reading resources as an eye opener to those in church leadership. Pastoral care is not what it used to be. Frustrations are pushing many to the brink of burnout, as pastors stress out in tryinig to meet enormous expectations. These come from their congregations, or from themselves. Their family and spiritual relationship with the Lord suffer, as these men and women are robbed of times of refreshments and renewal.
The writer has summarized these in a readable but challenging way. His charts are revealing. His insigts into problems and their solutions are biblical and helpful. I've used many of them in my own presentations. I found chapters 7 through 10 especially useful; all check marks in dealing with the pressures fostered upon by those with God's call on their lives. The need for an 'accountability partner' is paramount.
I likewise appreciated the seeds planted in his chapter on "Spouse Killers", which may warrant a future book by Dr. Stone.
Finally, the Church needs to recognize that a 'shepherd' is paid for two things in his relationship to the flock the Lord has assigned to him. Acts 6:4 tells us that we are to "give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (NKJV) In short, a pastor is to pray for his people and feed his people. All other demands by the flock are a bonus to them. It would do well for elders and deacons to acquaint themselves with this book.
Thank you for the opportunity to review it.
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