Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches From growing by Geoff Surratt

41D9S0q80bL._SL500_AA240_What a great title huh! And what ARE the ten stupidest mistakes? Trying to do it all; Establishing the wrong role for the Pastors Family; Providing a second rate worship experience; settling for low quality in children’s ministry; promoting talent over integrity; clinging to a bad location; copying another successful church; favoring discipline over reconciliation; mixing ministry and business & letting committees steer the ship.

Over all the book is OK. In my own opinion I don’t feel that the book fulfills the potential the title gives. However, there are some good chapters in here -Trying to do it all; Establishing the wrong role for the Pastors Family & promoting talent over integrity are the best chapters of the book. Pastors should stop trying to DO everything and learn to delegate – and then NOT to interfere just because it is done differently. The pastors role at home and how ministry effects his wife and family is KEY. And the chapter on promoting talent over integrity is good. We are too easily swayed by gifting – often promoting the gifted volunteer quicker than we should and without due attention or discernment to the persons spiritual life.

The other chapters I did not thing were the MOST stupid mistakes that could be made and the content was not that good.

Even so, I would tentatively say that the cost of the book is worth the three best chapters, especially for those coming into the ministry.

Cross Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility by Duane Elmer

51P4F9YPH7L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-big,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_Duane Elmer is a colleague of Don carson at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. I first heard Duane Elmer when he taught on a course I did in 2005 at Ywam, UK. We were a class of 15 and Duane spent an entire week teaching on Cross Cultural Conflict, and Servanthood.It was quite simply awesome!  Duane is a missionary. He has lived in South Africa and has traveled widely teaching missionaries on culture. check out his other books HERE & HERE.

This book is especially good. His main thesis is this: we cannot serve someone we do not understand and we can’t understand someone until we have learned about, from and with them and we can’t learn about someone until there is trust and in order to build trust the person we are speaking with needs to know we accept them and value them as a person and before we can communicate acceptance the person must experience our openness to them and openness requires that we are willing to step outside our comfort zone to initiate and sustain relationships in a world of cultural differences.

Each letter which is in bold is a chapter where Duane unpacks that concept. This is not just a book for missionaries and cross cultural studies it is a book for all people in all situations. It is one of the best books on humility as a leader and cultivating servanthood in the church.