Pastoral Ministry

 

Pastoral Ministry

Bonsai Theory of Church Growth

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The bonsai pot may be the most identifiable accessory for growing bonsai trees. The pots come in numerous shapes and sizes. Some are very shallow, designed for planting a bonsai forest (several trees grouped together). Others are tall and somewhat narrow, used primarily for trees that cascade downward. Many look simply like miniature versions of more familiar flower pots. Most are ornate ceramic pots with Oriental-looking scenes and beautiful glazes. All of them are expensive when you consider their relative size. You might think that you wouldn't have to pay so dearly for such a small hunk of clay. After only a cursory reading of my collection of bonsai books, I discovered that fitting the right pot to the right tree was an integral part of growing bonsai. The bonsai grower must take into account factors such as the size, shape, and color of the tree when making this crucial decision. In my case I added a fourth criterion price. Once the pot and the plant have been chosen, you're ready to go to work. The small tree must be placed in just the right position in the pot for the proper aesthetic beauty. Once this task has been completed you have embarked on your bonsai journey. Yet the pot is much more than a simple decorative holder for a little tree. The pot in many ways helps to determine the size of the tree. The beautiful glazed dish must hold the dirt and roots that will support the tree's healthy growth. One of the secrets to the small size of the bonsai is the limited space for root growth. This discovery about little trees applies to churches as well. The size of the container in which a congregation is planted will in many ways determine the size it will grow to in maturity. We have seen this principle at work in the plants inside our home. Let's say, for example, that you purchase a small decorative fig tree from the local nursery. It comes to you in a one gallon container. You place your prized possession by an appropriate window and water it on a regular schedule and watch as it grows naturally for a year or so. We are surprised to see that it will grow with the virtual "benign neglect" that many of our plants receive. After about a year, you notice that the color of the leaves appears to be less vibrant and that some are actually falling from the tree. You continue to water your prized possession and even add a bit of fertilizer, but to no avail. What's the problem? It has become root-bound. The root structure has outgrown the one gallon container. The tree must be dug up, the roots untangled, and the tree repotted in a more spacious container if growth is to continue. If the container can impede the growth of a perfectly healthy house plant, then the "church pot" can inhibit natural growth, even in a healthy church. Bonsai pots come in different shapes and sizes, but all are designed to keep the root structure of the plant small. In like manner, there are different "pots" your church must think about to promote healthy growth."
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9780988985476
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Paperback
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September 24, 2014

BOOK OF CHURCH GROWTH

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The Church Growth Movement has divided devout Christians. Even though Rainer is an advocate, his aim here is to present an objective view of the movement--its history, the theology associated with it, and the principles which seem to separate churches that grow from those that don't.
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9780805418729
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Paperback
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September 1, 1998

BOOK THAT JAMES WROTE

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In The book That James Wrote, Earl Palmer offers a user-friendly guide to James that is ideal for pastors and parishioners, for personal or small-group study. Written in a personal style, the book will enrich understanding of what James has to say to us today.
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9780802801364
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October 1, 1997

BORDERLESS CHURCH

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Church leader and missionary David Lundy explores the changing face of "doing mission" today. He offers answers to key questions such as "How can the church better interact with the global and local community?" and "What's a borderless church and how do we become one?" His case studies of churches around the world help with these questions--churches such as Mars Hill in Michigan with 10,000 members, a shopping mall meeting place, lively services, a sense of community, and most of all, a true passion for local and global outreach.
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9781850786467
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Paperback
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October 1, 2005

BREAKING THE MISSIONAL CODE

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Across North America, many pastors are excited to see churches growing as they achieve their mission to connect the message of the gospel with the community at large. Still others are equally frustrated, following the exact same model for outreach but with lesser results. Indeed, just because a "missional breakthrough" occurs in one place doesn't mean it will happen the same way elsewhere.

One size does not fit all, but there are cultural codes that must be broken for all churches to grow and remain effective in their specific mission context. Breaking the Missional Code provides expert insight on church culture and church vision casting, plus case studies of successful missional churches impacting their communities.

"We have to recognize there are cultural barriers (in addition to spiritual ones) that blind people from understanding the gospel," the authors write. "Our task is to find the right way to break through those cultural barriers without removing the spiritual and theological ones."

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9780805443592
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Hardcover
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Publication Date: 
May 1, 2006

Breathing Space a Respite for Ministry Leaders

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Ministry leadership requires healthy ministry leaders. In this unique book, Pastor Eric Willis introduces you to the concept of a monthly respite. One day. Once each month. Ministry demands leaders pour themselves out with little time to focus on their own restoration. Breathing Space is a fresh infusion of hope and biblical perspective to stay the course of ministry.
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9781505356168
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Paperback
Publication Date: 
February 3, 2015

Budgeting for a Healthy Church Aligning Finances with Biblical Priorities for Ministry

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Many pastors conceive of the church budget as primarily a financial tool, but in fact it is primarily a pastoral tool. A church's philosophy of ministry is locked into its budget, and so the budget will either stifle or accelerate any attempts to move a congregation toward a biblical model of church health. As such, the church budget is a far more potent pastoral tool than many church leaders realize. Budgeting for a Healthy Church examines each section of the budget in light of Biblical principles to show how a church budget can lock in healthy approaches to ministry. Whereas most books on church budgeting are "how" books, explaining how the budgeting process should work, this is a "what" book, helping church leaders determine the pastoral implications of what they choose to fund in their budgets.

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9780310093862
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Paperback
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April 2, 2019

Building a Healthy Multi Ethnic Church Mandate Commitments & Practices of a Diverse Congregation

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Through personal stories, proven experience and a thorough analysis of the biblical text, Building a Healthy Multi-ethnic Church illustrates both the biblical mandate for the multi-ethnic church as well as the seven core commitments required to bring it about. Mark DeYmaz, pastor of one of the most proven multi-ethnic churches in the country, writes both from his experience and his extensive study of how to plant, grow, and encourage more ethnically diverse churches. He argues that the "homogenous unit principle" will soon become irrelevant and that the most effective way to spread the Gospel in an increasingly diverse world is through strong and vital multi-ethnic churches.
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9780787995515
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Hardcover
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October 26, 2007

BURSTING THE BUBBLE

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Current approaches to congregational leadership are dominated by a kind of group think. Certain assumptions, ideas, and even phrases appear so often in the literature about church ministry and mission that they have achieved the status of conventional wisdom. For example, how many times in recent years have you read about ministry in the postmodern era?The problem with conventional wisdom, says Dan Dick, is that it sets our thinking down a particular path, blinding us to other possibilities and insights. At its worst, conventional wisdom is a cheap and easy substitute for figuring things out yourself. In this book, Dan Dick both explodes false assumptions about congregational leadership, and offers readers the tools they need to lead congregations in the real world, not the wishful thinking world of conventional wisdom.

Nuggets of conventional wisdom debunked include:
- The modern/postmodern myth
- Contemporary North American culture is highly similar to the culture of the New Testament world
- We live in a period of accelerated change unlike any other before us.

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9780687465132
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Paperback
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Publication Date: 
September 1, 2008

CALL OF A LIFETIME

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Has God called you or someone you know to the ministry? Find out for sure. This practical book aims to help teens and young adults understand what ordained ministry is and decide whether or not they are called to it. Each chapter offers answers to several questions that young people typically have about the ministry or their own call to ministry.
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9780898272628
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Paperback
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December 31, 2004

Called Pastoral Guidance for the Divine Call to Gospel Ministry

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Only those who have an undeniable calling from God will be fit for the challenges and strains of the ministry life. But how do you test a calling and how do you proceed if you are certain its legitimacy?

From the theology of being called, to selecting a seminary, to beginning life as a pastor, Michael Milton looks to the Word of God for answers and guidance, as well as drawing on his own experience as a Presbyterian minister.

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ISBN: 
S781527101128
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Paperback
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April 6, 2018

Called Pastoral Guidance for the Divine Call to Gospel Ministry

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Only those who have an undeniable calling from God will be fit for the challenges and strains of the ministry life. But how do you test a calling and how do you proceed if you are certain its legitimacy?

 

This honest and practical book by Michael Milton explores both of these questions in helpful detail, encouraging the reader to examine God's call on their life.

 

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ISBN: 
9781527101128
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Paperback
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February 9, 2018