About This Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Book Review: "What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary"

TITLE: What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary
AUTHOR: James Emery White
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2011.

What They Didn't Teach You in Seminary: 25 Lessons for Successful Ministry in Your ChurchThis book is an extremely practical book on Christian ministry, for pastors, leaders, and anybody concerned about effective ministry in churches and Christian organizations. Full of real life examples, and wise tips for ministry, the author has given the Church a gift. Distilling his experience as a pastor, a professor, and a parishioner, White shares pertinent observations of 25 aspects of Christian ministry, ranging from inner emotional survival of the leader, to the outer face of doing Church ministry. There is a little bit of everything in this book. Do not let the simplicity of the layman language deceive you. The book is for leaders and those concerned about christian leadership in the Church.

My Comments
When something that is so obvious but are so clearly communicated with style and with wise substance, it strikes a raw nerve pleasantly. White has given us 25 wise counsels that will help us not only survive but thrive in doing Christian ministry. I appreciate the way the author strings together his personal experience, his professional ministry, his professorial insights, as well as down to earth observations of Christian people, and ministry work.

Unlike some Christian manuals on leadership, this book is highly readable. Academic references are kept to a minimum. The aperture of real life experience are opened to the maximum. The wit and humour helps one to laugh at the silliness of some of our expectations in ministry work.

There are many points in the books that evoke involuntary affirmations of "Yes! Yes! Yes!" within me. Do not let the simplicity of the book fool you. It is a profound work of academic thought and practical help, welded through the many years of ups and downs of Christian ministry. It can be used as material for pastoral reflection, curriculum for training Christian leaders, as well as a way to give laypeople in insight into the unique challenges surrounding Christian ministries.

Buy your leaders a copy of this book. Get your pastor to read it. This book should be required reading for all seminarians, especially MDiv students/graduates. For anyone discouraged about ministry, this book packs a punch that not only jolts one back to realistic expectations, but smothered with lots of encouragement.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group".

No comments:

Post a Comment