Book Reviews: Small Does Not Mean Struggling

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Small Does Not Mean Struggling by David B. Smith (Wine Press Publishing)

David Smith, pastor of a small church, writes with authority his book titled Small Does Not Mean Struggling. He insists 70 to 85 percent of Protestant churches in the United States are considered small and should be seen as a viable force to be supported.

Any pastor and layman can profit by the short stories and articles written from the perspective of this author. Smith shares frustration he has felt from denominational employees and specialists who focus on the needs of the larger church. Attending conventions, messages and break-out sessions usually feature the large-church pastors and provide very little for the small-church leadership, he notes.

Smith suggests meetings with break-out sessions like "One Pastor's Journey with a Pipe Wrench," "The Latest Findings on Shepherding Small Finances" or "Thar be Dragons Here," a humorous look at the difficult people a small-church pastor must lead daily. The author also affirms pastors who personally minister to their entire communities and get involved closely with their congregations.

The author sets forth a "Small Church Manifesto" where he spells out 10 issues their pastors must hold up lest this block of churches be lost.

I urge every pastor from all size churches to read and consider the insights he puts forth. It is an easy read and will encourage your hearts.

Leo Smith, retired executive director

Texas Baptist Men, Alvin

The Business of the Church: The Uncomfortable Truth that Faithful Ministry Requires Effective Management by John W. Wimberly Jr. (Alban Institute)

Church conflict and problems often arise out of poor management in the operations of a congregation. Author John Wimberly draws from more than 36 years of pastoral experience to deal with the everyday business of churches. While reading the book, I had the feeling I was sitting at the feet of a wise mentor who was calmly coaching me about the basics of church business every pastor should know but that we didn't learn in seminary.

Management topics fall under three categories of personnel, facilities and finances. In each area, he quickly covers the most common areas of need by giving specific how-to advice. There also are lots of illustrations of what happens if you do—or don't—manage properly in those areas.

One of the great strengths of the book is that it clearly demonstrates church business is not a one-person operation, but it takes cooperation of teams that are equipped to do the work. As such, the book is valuable not only to clergy, but also to the church members functioning in the business teams of a church.

Karl Fickling, director

Pastorless Church Team, Baptist General Convention of Texas


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