Seven Primary Ministry Development Books - Pastoring a Narcissist, The Details Matter, Masterful Preaching, The Science of Shepherding, Healthy Church - Start Here, and Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper
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These seven books are the product of painful personal growth.
None of what is shared in these books on Ministerial Development came natural. These are learned behaviors that work. I’m not a super-pastor, and my IQ does not show to be much above average, but was observant and learned what worked for others.
Pastoring a Narcissist
I had to learn you can’t deal with every person in the same way, the resulting experiences resulted in Pastoring a Narcissist.
This is the first in a series on Dealing with Difficult People. Next up will be Pastoring a Machiavellian Manipulator.
I had to learn the lost are only reached by preaching quick, simple messages that take into account a sinner’s lack of Bible knowledge. This process is and result is Masterful Preaching.
I had to learn that I was not and never would be super-pastor. I realized I was a plodder who eventually learned to do the right things repetitively. That is in Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper.
I had to learn the four components in a Biblical shepherd/pastor’s job description. I wasted much time doing things that did not matter. My discoveries make up The Science of Shepherding - Pastoral Ministry for the 21st Century.
I had to learn the difference between swelling and growth. Jesus and the Bible provide specific measures of a great church. Chasing a crowd is not on the list. Healthy Church - Start Here is the result.
The Details Matter
I had to learn that being effective requires more than preaching good sermons. Any harvest must be gathered and stored for it to be preserved.
Growth requires administration, which I dislike intensely. But after a time of not sustaining church growth or progress, I learned and applied. Growth and progress happened. The results are part of The Details Matter. One major organization has The Details Matter as required reading for ordination.
The Details Matter depicts the most difficult aspect of ministry for me. I’m a “big picture” person who loves to preach, teach, disciple people and teach Home Bible Studies. But after a few years of doing all those things relatively well, our church was stuck. We added people, but we lost an equal number to what we gained.
At that point, I realized part of my responsibility was to oversee and administer the details that mattered. When I spent more time on the details the church began to grow - with new converts.
Yes, Seven Books focused on growing the preacher, not on growing the church. If a pastor grows, the church will certainly grow. More about them below.
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Do you find yourself challenged when it comes to preaching to the lost?
I confess this was a struggle for me, even during the several years I was an itinerant evangelist. The problem was that reaching for the lost was seldom modeled before me. It took me a while, but I finally got it.
Masterful Preaching has improved the preaching effort of many preachers. If the lost are present, then the ninety-and-nine is no longer the focus. One lost soul becomes the focus.
This book teaches you how to study to preach to the lost, topics that work, how long you have available if you are going to preach to the lost, and so much more.
Honey from a Strange Hive (Funeral Sermons)
I’ve heard some terrible funeral sermons and may have preached a few terrible funeral sermons. But, I learned better. Funerals are the place where you preach to the most lost people.
This book has funerals for a suicide victim, a long-time Christian and all points in between. A preacher can prepare for weddings, Christmas services, Easter, etc. But we have no warning when death will suddenly come.
These funeral sermons work to connect with your audience, present the gospel in a positive way, and have attendees visit church.
Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper
Revival is misunderstood. It is imagined to be gaudy and attention-getting. Actually, revival should be an ongoing outcome based on an ongoing effort.
People should be converted regularly - because evangelism, prayer, and disciple-making are being accomplished regularly.
This book originated as a series mailed to over 9,000 preachers in North America as part of a Director's Communique. Many ministers saved these communiques in three-ring binders and could hardly wait for the next one to arrive. Revival in a Plain Brown Wrapper is practical and coaches you on how to lead a "stuck church" into revival.
The Science of Shepherding
What is the job description of a pastor? The Bible actually has an answer. If I don't know what my job is then how can I know if I'm doing it well?
The Science of Shepherding is about growing a pastor to be more effective in Christ's work. Church growth is a "blue sky" fantasy if we do not grow the pastor who leads a church. In leading a congregation's growth from 80 to over 300 the greatest growth and change came in me - the pastor.
This book is practical. It introduces the four primary responsibilities of a shepherd/pastor's job description. And then it suggests how we can best accomplish these in the 21st century. Young pastors have said this book was the most impacting book they have ever read.
Healthy Church - Start Here
A healthy church is a growing church. Growing in a deeper knowledge of the Bible, in a better application of Christian living and maturity. It is also growing numerically.
Why are a high percentage of churches stagnant - with growth only coming from those who relocate their membership? There are no new converts being matured into disciples of Christ.
There are eighteen primary reasons churches get stuck. Healthy Church - Start Here identifies these reasons and provides solutions for rising above these difficulties. Some of the problems:
- Taking spiritual warfare too lightly.
- Unrealistic expectations
- Not teaching and then asking people to give.
- Failing to focus on disciple-making.
Each of the eighteen reasons can be overcome through either moving into the spiritual conflict or taking practical action.