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The Ten Most Influential Churches of the Past Century

My friend Elmer Towns just finished a book: The Ten Most Influential Churches of the Past Century. In the book, he gives a thorough examination of the contribution of each church. As always, his research and analysis of what makes a church historically influential is impeccable. And you may be surprised at which churches are […]

Spark: Igniting a Culture of Multiplication

Reading Spark, by Todd Wilson, filled my eyes with tears. Where was this book when I restarted my church? What a difference it might have made. Folks, this is the first book of 2015 that will go on my classics list.

The author addressed both the problem and the solution when it comes to developing a […]

One of the Best Books of the Last Five Years

A book every pastor with a staff, or one who is going to have a staff, should read is Fairness Is Overrated, by Tim Stevens. Over the past two years I’ve waded through dozens of books, and only a handful have pushed my buttons as much as this one. This book is cool to the […]

Five Books For The 21st Century

I’ve always been a voracious reader, so I encourage pastors to read a minimum of ten books a month. I was glad to read a blog from Rick Warren titled “To Be a Great Leader You Absolutely Must Be a Reader.” You can see the article here.

However, I remember when I was a pastor […]

A Postmodern Resurrection Story

In one of the congregations I worked in last year, I ran across a story that had become legendary in that congregation. It seems as if the pastor had told the story many times, so the detailed authenticity of the story is suspect. However, I have learned that some of the most profound truths […]


I just finished one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years, called DiscipleShift, by Putman and Harrington.  It’s been sitting on my “to read” shelf for over a year. I can’t believe I just now picked it up. Anyway, it is worth purchasing and sharing with your staff, and it will help […]

Effective Staffing for Vital Churches

Too often, churches get staffing wrong. I know in their heart of hearts they believe that by hiring age-graded directors/pastors/associate ministers they’re staffing to grow, but in today’s culture, especially in our less than optimum giving culture, it’s simply no longer feasible to hire a new staff member for every 100–125 church members (which […]

Robert Withnow, After Heaven

Wuthnow, Robert After Heaven: Spirituality in America Since the 1950’s

(Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1998), 290 pages, hardcover, $29.95. Obtain from University of California Press, 510-642-4999.

Wuthnow chronicles the changing pattern of spirituality in the U.S. that began in the 1950’s and was nurtured in the 1960’s. He sees two very different forms of […]