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What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary: 25 Lessons for Successful Ministry in Your Church Paperback – August 1, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Finally--everything you really need to know about surviving and thriving in a life of ministry
You learn a lot of important things in seminary. But what you can't learn in a classroom is what ministry is actually like on a day-to-day basis. There are no classes called Taking a Day Off, Maintaining Sexual Fences, or Emotional Survival 101. In this immensely practical book, veteran pastor James Emery White provides the kind of mentoring pastors desperately need. His insights will help you transform your relationships with staff and church members, develop healthy boundaries, deliver hard truths, avoid spiritually hazardous situations, use your time effectively, and much more.
"Far too many leaders insist on learning from their own mistakes. James Emery White is a seasoned leader who has done the hard work of serving up his most valuable lessons from a practitioner's view. For the sake of God's work in you and those you lead, please read this book!"--Jim Mellado, president, Willow Creek Association
"What makes this book indispensable is the down-to-earth, learned-the-hard-way advice and insight. It has moved to the top of the 'must-read' list for the church planters and young pastors I work with."--Geoff Surratt, director of church planting, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, California
"An insightful, no-nonsense look into the real trenches of ministry life. A must-read--not simply for those beginning their journey but for those of us who have been in the game for some time."--Mark Batterson, lead pastor, National Community Church, Washington, DC
"Wow. If you want a book to tell you what ministry is really like, then this is your best shot. Read it and treasure it."--Brian Tome, founding and senior pastor, Crossroads Church, Cincinnati, Ohio
"There are some things you can only learn by leading a congregation day after day, week after week. James Emery White gives us all a backstage pass. It's a real education."--Marshall Shelley, editor, Leadership Journal; vice president, Christianity Today International
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, White is the author of several books, including Rethinking the Church.
About the Author
James Emery White (PhD, Southern Seminary) is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, a suburban megachuch in Charlotte, North Carolina, often cited as one of the fastest-growing church starts in the United States. Former president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, White is the author of several books, including Rethinking the Church. He lives in North Carolina.
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The numerous topics which the book covers include:
* When choosing a new staff member or volunteer, look for character, competence, catalytic behaviour, chemistry and calling
* You must teach on money in a comprehensive way, not just continually urging people to give
* Envy of, and competition with, other churches is a form of rabies of the heart
* The church, if left to itself, will become inward-looking and grow old; leadership energy is required to keep things young
* If you are contemplating hiring someone, pick up the phone first and get some references
* Ministry is spiritually hazardous to your soul
* Church structure is a key dynamic of effective church ministry
Much of the author's thinking has been inspired by Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, Ed Young and other prominent church leaders. This is not in my opinion a bad thing, as churches can become more effective by borrowing the best ideas from others, but, as the author warns, there is a danger in mimicry and continually chasing the "next next thing"; each church must find its own unique calling. There is a lot of very valuable information for church leaders in this book, which I highly recommend.