Foreword Review — May / June 2010
Called by God and filled with passion, pastors endeavor to spend a lifetime in service to the Lord and their congregations. Yet, burnout, loss of hope, and strife drive many away from the ministry or to destructive ends.
Five Ministry Killers and How to Defeat Them brings to light the frustrations of pastors and the crises they face. Rather than simply dwelling on the problem of burnout and the plight of senior church leaders, the book’s focus is on avoiding crises. Co-author, along with his daughter, of Daughters Gone Wild—Dads Gone Crazy, and a pastor for more than thirty years, Charles Stone shares many of the struggles that threaten and sometimes destroy ministries.
A lone ranger attitude that says, “God and I can handle this,” or investing emotionally in the wrong issues are just a couple of the ministry killers identified in this work. Stone deals candidly with these and other issues. He offers sound Biblical, secular, and practical solutions to aid pastors in avoiding the many snares and pitfalls facing them. Developing a safe confidant with whom pastors can “open up with vulnerability” is essential, he says, as is owning up to one’s frustrations.
Far from a personal treatise filled with watered-down Christian clichés, this work contains a wealth of unpublished research from notable organizations such as the Barna Research Group, LifeWay Research, and Christianity Today’s NationalChristianPoll.com. Anecdotes and vignettes from the lives of other pastors are included throughout the text, providing the reader with a firsthand look at the private lives and thoughts of these men and women of God.
Five Ministry Killers should be required reading for everyone involved in ministry—pastors, other church leaders, and seminary students alike. Moreover, any church member with a sincere desire to obey Bible scripture in contributing to the joy of a pastor’s work will want to read this book.
This is not a Bible study on leadership. It is a work intended to encourage pastors to focus on issues that matter most to God and thereby maintain healthy and vibrant ministries. No magical answers are offered. Instead, there is sound, practical, Godly wisdom.