Friday, December 6, 2013

Ministering to Problem People in Your Church by Marshall Shelley

Oh my goodness, where has this book been for the last 20+ years that we've been in ministry? Seriously, EVERY pastor needs to read this book. This is without doubt, the best book I've read on the topic of ministry. With real-life examples of "Well-intentioned dragons" and the stories that are all too familiar with our own experiences, this book will encourage and give hope to pastors who are going through the trials that are caused by people. 
While the term "well-intentioned dragon" is used to describe these folks (meaning that they are fierce but that they don't realize it) I have to disagree somewhat. I've met some dragons and I'm fairly certain that they knew exactly what they were doing. Some of these people are just dragons, no good intentions at all. There was one at a church we pastored who I refer to as "Servant of Satan" because of the evil that seeped from him, this man was definitely a dragon and he was intent on dragging others down his spiral. 
What I loved about this book was the practical, Biblical advice that it gave on how to handle these people and their problematic tendencies. For each example there is a solution, and one that is attainable.
Thank God for Marshall Shelley and his approach to church conflict. I hope that this book helps pastors do what they need to do.
This would be a great Christmas gift for your favorite pastor!

This book was provided for review by Bethany House.

From the back cover:
Every church has them-sincere, well-meaning Christians who leave ulcers, strained relationships, and hard feelings in their wake. They don't intend to be hostile; they don't conciously plot destruction or breed discontent. But they do often undermine the ministry of the church and make pastors question their calling.
Ministering to Problem People in Your Church will guide you in dealing with these challenging people. Based on real-life accounts of battle-scarred veterans, this book helps you go beyond just tolerating the problem people to limiting their damage and showing them God's love. You'll discover effective strategies to turn dissidents into disciples.
This time-tested book by the editor-in-cheif of Christianity Today's Leadership Journal has new chapters on using social media and caring for those with mental illness. It will help you not only preserve your sanity (and maybe your job), but minister more effectively, even to those who make life difficult.

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