THE MANAGEMENT OF MINISTRY by James D. & Ezra Earl Jones Anderson


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A careful, thoughtful, plodding guide to the human dynamics and theological underpinning of parish administration. Jones and Anderson, both ministers and management experts, aim at helping pastors and their lay assistants through the usual crises: dwindling congregations, church-community conflicts, counterproductive group meetings, dissension over liturgy, politics, and so on. They start out from the principle that the church's primary job is ""accepting people in weakness to return them to the world in strength."" This means on the one hand that success must be measured by the quality of ""lives renewed,"" and not by cold institutional standards. But on the other hand a local church's life is tied to the growth or decay of the surrounding community. If the pastor ignores this or any other law of group behavior (e.g., that a heterogeneous parish needs a diversified program of worship and social activities), he will find himself in deep trouble. He likewise has to have a firm grasp on leadership skills (how to form an advisory council, for instance), or the church's task of promoting ""faith development"" will go by the board. The authors offer a lot of useful advice, often couched, unfortunately, in the flat abstractions of sociologese. But they're veteran consultants and troubleshooters, and the average clergyman trying to cope with the complex demands of today's ministry will be happy to get their help.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row