Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 06:1 (Fall 1988)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Books By The Faculty

Church Administration Handbook edited by Bruce Powers. Nashville: Broadman Press, 1985. 318 pp. $9.95.

Bruce Powers and his team of writers have produced a comprehensive manual for many aspects of ministry and church administration. The six authors give guidance and factual information on eighteen topics. These cover management, church organization, volunteer and personnel administration, office and financial procedures including budgeting, operation of physical facilities, and planning for special events. In addition, there are chapters on processes such as church publications, food services, legal concerns, starting new work, administering the small church, managing cooperative and staff relations, the minister’s personal life and changing ministry settings.

The editor and his co-contributors have undertaken a formidable task in this volume and produced a resource of valuable information. Among the difficult tasks they faced and met were: How to give specific instruction without presenting a “one best way” approach? How can one cover a technical area in one chapter? How can one give adequate guidance to these topics without being pedantic or elementary? How does one give principles that apply to many different kinds of specific situations, e.g., the variety of sizes of churches and staffs? How can such a vast array of subjects be organized with a progression? How can writers from different localities avoid overlap and repetition among so many authors and subjects? How can the various philosophies of ministry be integrated? How can the practice of ministry be given an adequate theological base?

The selection of contributors was excellent. It resulted in a manual written by people who know and appreciate the intricacies of everyday ministry in a Baptist church. It is a reference book for the person setting out in the ministry and needing specific information on a variety of subjects in the church. It can also be a resource manual for lay leaders who want reference help with a specific problem.

Because of the breadth of the number of subjects covered, some of the book’s topics require further elaboration; nevertheless, sound initial approaches are offered here. The “nuts and bolts” of day-by-day practice are described along with a number of very good forms for facilitating decision-making and process clarification.

This is the kind of reference work which becomes most valuable in the “situation of the moment” when the minister needs a place to turn to answer, “What do I do now?” It is a book for using, not just reading.

Earnest White
Gaines S. Dobbins Professor of Church Administration and Leadership,
Southern Baptist The...

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