Top critical review
Easy read; probably most focussed at big church full time pastor
on May 15, 2013
I am one of 9 pastor/elders at a church of about 350 people. I have a job, so am what many would describe as a "lay" elder.
I found some helpful things here for me to think about. A quick look at the table of contents, each chapter a particular mistake to be avoided in church leadership, will help you see the breadth and generality of topics covered.
1 ALLOWING MINISTRY TO REPLACE JESUS
2 ALLOWING COMPARING TO REPLACE CONTENTMENT
3 ALLOWING PRIDE TO REPLACE HUMILITY
4 ALLOWING PLEASING PEOPLE TO REPLACE PLEASING GOD
5 ALLOWING BUSYNESS TO REPLACE VISIONING
6 ALLOWING FINANCIAL FRUGALITY TO REPLACE FEARLESS FAITH
7 ALLOWING ARTIFICIAL HARMONY TO REPLACE DIFFICULT CONFLICT
8 ALLOWING PERENNIALLY HURTING PEOPLE TO REPLACE POTENTIAL HUNGRY LEADERS
9 ALLOWING INFORMATION TO REPLACE TRANSFORMATION
10 ALLOWING CONTROL TO REPLACE TRUST
So even though the primary audience that the author had in mind didn't seem to be me, but rather full time pastors or staff of larger churches, I was still challenged.
I found the format of presenting the hypothetical Covenant Community Church and its leaders to be helpful and engaging. At times I feel it slowed the book down or belabored a point, but not overly so. The book was engaging and easy to read and finish.
I did not always find myself agreeing with the authors perspective and wishes at parts he was driven more by scripture than experience (scripture was present to be sure but did have the weight I felt it should have in some of the examples). I understand that this was a book of the author sharing the map takes he has seen, and he did so very well. I hope I learn from these mistakes, but in focussing as heavily as he did on experience and examples my focus was directed as often as I would have likes to evaluate scripture. The author did not labor as I would have liked with Scripture.
I think this is a helpful book that you will be blessed to read (it can easily be finished in two weeks). It is not however in my top ten church leadership books. I might recommend instead Exemplary Spiritual Leadership by Jerry Wragg, Pipers books on pastoral ministry and preaching, or anything by Alexander Strauch.