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After 50 Years of Ministry: 7 Things I'd Do…

After 50 Years of Ministry: 7 Things I'd Do Differently and 7 Things I'd…

by Bob Russell

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Hands down, After 50 Years of Ministry is the best book I've read so far in 2017. It's not even close.

Bob Russell just gets it. He understands pastors and the unique struggles they face. He knows the tension they feel between over-inflated ego and soul-crushing despair. He knows what it is to live in the fish bowl with eyes on you all of the time.

In After 50 Years he transparently opens his soul to talk about both successes and mistakes that marked his 40 years at Southeast Christian Church. His writing style is easily absorbed; the guy is a master communicator! His content is rich with nuggets of wisdom that every church leader needs.

Three chapters spoke to me powerfully. In a chapter on time management, Russell admitted to not using his time wisely to wind down at the end of the day. I can identify with that. It is so much easier to vegetate in front of the t.v. than to do something productive at the end of a long stressful day. "If I had spent just a half-hour less watching television each night for six nights a week, for the past fifty years I would have a total of 7,800 hours for something more productive. That's the equivalent of 325 days . . . . almost an entire year of life!" (38).

His chapter on expository preaching was phenomenal! He had the practice of investing 20 hours a week in his Sunday morning message alone! I can only envy that commitment. But I realize that I have to do more than envy it; I need to emulate it. "The anger you preach at one place the more difficult it is to give your attention to the Word of God and prayer" (117).

His chapter on building a team and delegating responsibility was convicting. "I'm convinced the failure to effectively delegate is the primary reason most churches don't grow much beyond 200 people" (164). The continued success at Southeast Christian after Russell's departure is testimony to his ability to develop a team and delegate.

Other chapters include dealing with a pastor's marriage, handling criticism, the danger of comparing ourselves to others, exercising generosity, humility, and the need for humor and joy. As I said earlier, this book is amazing. Every pastor should read it. There are ample nuggets of wisdom to merit the investment. ( )
  RobSumrall | Mar 15, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802413846, Hardcover)

Learn Ministry from One of the Best

When Bob Russell became the pastor of Southeast Christian Church, it was just 120 people meeting in a basement. When he retired forty years later, it was nearing 20,000.

Though Bob's ministry was a clear success, he'd be the first to say it wasn’t perfect. In After 50 Years of Ministry he shares why. He reflects on the best of what he’s learned—sometimes the hard way—about ministry and leadership, like how to:

Respond to criticismProtect your marriageStop comparing yourself to other pastorsHandle a staff moral failurePrioritize preaching in your scheduleBuild trust with your eldersMake the best use of downtime

Hilarious, warm, and full of great stories and illustrations, After 50 Years of Ministry is sage advice from a faithful servant of God. If you are in leadership of any kind, don’t miss this chance to learn from one of the best.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 22 Aug 2016 01:36:04 -0400)

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