Book Reviews: Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller

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Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller: The Elder Statesman of Church Leadership edited by Warren Bird (Abingdon Press)

book schaller200Since 1965, Lyle Schaller has written 55 books, with more than 2 million copies printed. Wisdom serves as a “Best of Schaller” compilation that will please fans who have not been able to read all his works, and it will introduce others to a truly phenomenal leader of leaders.

The book begins with Schaller’s inspiring personal story, to put his ministry in context. Then it tackles his bibliography by gathering his books under 25 topics that all hold relevance for today’s church. Topics include following a long-tenured pastor; introducing change; the unique strengths, strategies and leadership styles for different-sized churches; the importance of small groups; and how to know when to resign. Each chapter has a captivating and helpful vignette supplied by someone whom Schaller assisted.

The largest portion of the book, however, is rapid-fire quotes from Schaller. While the quotes provide direction to their sources for anyone wanting to do further reading, they read as gems that need no further explanation. For instance: “Eight of ten church leaders think that next year will be 1955, and if 1955 comes around again, they’ll be ready.” That’s vintage Lyle Schaller.

Karl Fickling, coordinator

Interim Church Services

Baptist General Convention of Texas


Your Boy: Raising a Godly Son in an Ungodly World and Your Girl: Raising a Godly Daughter in an Ungodly World by Vicki Courtney (B&H Books)

book courtney girl200book boy courtney200Vicki Courtney’s books focus on the real-world situations women face as they care for their sons and daughters. Filled with examples from her life experience, the books offer clear encouragement and insight for parents.

While her books are filled with wisdom on parenting, she also humbly admits the conclusions she and her husband reached on how to parent are not necessarily the only God-honoring options. She recognizes parents have to work through many of the tough parenting questions for themselves in order to determine what is the best way to proceed as they strive to honor God in their parenting.

Another refreshing aspect of the books is the reality that all children are different and need different parenting. Courtney acknowledges parents may need to approach each of their children in a different manner, while keeping the same goal in mind—producing children that honor God.

Parenting is a challenging art, and women with children of all ages would benefit from these books.

Scott Bryant, university chaplain and vice president for spiritual development

East Texas Baptist University


Encountering and Experiencing God Daily Journal: How God Speaks to Me compiled by Vassar “Skip” Holman (Practical Photography and Publishing)

book holman200Readers who practice journaling as a spiritual discipline will discover this notebook offers far more than a series of blank pages. Skip Holman, minister of discipleship at Northeast Baptist Church in San Antonio, has assembled a variety of resources to help guide Bible study and personal devotions. Christians who have completed the Experiencing God course by Henry Blackaby and Claude King will recognize some items, reprinted by permission—the names, titles and descriptions of God; a daily Bible reading plan; and an essay about how to keep a spiritual journal. Holman also includes a brief syllabus with suggested Bible references for discipleship training.

Journaling pages are formatted for multiple uses—prayer times, personal Bible study and sermon notes. The journal includes a separate section for recording “spiritual markers,” when a Christian encounters God and reflects on how God has been at work in his or her life. The journal offers an opportunity for Christ’s followers to keep a permanent record of their discipleship journey and track lessons learned along the way.

Ken Camp, managing editor

Baptist Standard


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