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Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach Pastors in Seminary [Paperback]

By Aubrey Malphurs (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   192
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.49" Width: 5.51" Height: 0.53"
Weight:   0.61 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1998
Publisher   Kregel Publications
ISBN  0825431905  
EAN  9780825431906  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Many seminary graduates envision ministry as ninety-five percent preaching and five percent for everything else: weddings, funerals, visitation, and board meetings. The Pastor's preaching and teaching ministry is often viewed as the primary vehicle for discipleship and outreach. Most pastors, however, do not and cannot devote extensive time to preparation for preaching or teaching and find that their enthusiasm for ministry is sapped by a sense of confusion and frustration. A careful analysis of the primary areas of struggle for pastors reveals that pastoral training programs have neglected four foundational ministry concepts - values, mission, vision, and strategy. Pastors and congregations often fail to agree upon a set of core values that provide unity. A lack of direction indicates a corresponding lack of mission. And a church without either core values or mission will lack both a vision and a strategy to minister to the surrounding culture. As a church planter, pastor, and seminary professor, Aubrey Malphurs examines those four vital concepts and demonstrates how to implement them in local church ministry. MINISTRY NUTS AND BOLTS provides the pastor or parachurch leader with a step-by-step guide for developing the basics needed to lead a ministry into the twenty-first century. As the author observes, "The evangelical churches that God is blessing in North America have carefully thought through (values, mission, vision, and strategy). Thus, it behooves the rest of the churches to learn from their examples and pursue the same if the future church is to have maximum impact for the Savior in the third millennium."

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More About Aubrey Malphurs

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Aubrey Malphurs (PhD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is the senior professor of leadership and pastoral ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary and founder of the Malphurs Group. He engages in church consulting and training and is the author of more than twenty ministry books, including Look Before You Lead and Re: Vision. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Aubrey Malphurs currently resides in Dallas, in the state of Texas.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Nuts and Bolts  May 24, 2006
"I believe that a person who attempts to lead a ministry without a vision will have an experience similar to a blindfolded tourist attempting to drive around the Arc de Triomphe. Except for the Scriptures, the only constant in today's world is change. We live in a century wherein everything is changing at breakneck speed. Navigating a ministry vehicle through the last decade of the twentieth century and beyond will prove impossible unless everyone on board knows where that vehicle is headed." (92-93)

Malphurs, Aubrey Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach Pastors in Seminary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997. 192pg.

The author's motivating thesis

In reading the book Ministry Nuts and Bolts I quickly located a number of statements that suggest the author's purpose. From distinguishing vision from mission, all the way to the stressed importance of core value development, to the push for team-based ministry, Aubrey Malphurs indicates a number of underlining objectives. One major and clearly intentional objective however, is far beyond the realm of speculation as it is printed far before the book gets started.
Located at the end of the books' introduction Aubrey Malphurs writes, "I have written this book to help leaders, pastors, and church boards think through these ministry ABCs", and as Mr. Malphurs explains these "Ministry ABCs" are "the core values [that] form the fundamental nuts and bolts of any ministry." (12) In short, he intends to help the reader develop and implement core values, mission directives, a clear vision and the strategy to make it all work.
Identification of the author's underlying convictions
I. The first section of this book is about defining, discovering and developing core values. Here Aubrey Malphurs asks the reader to define what kind of church you are and to discuss the "core values" of the congregation and focus on those that are constant, passionate, and biblical beliefs. These core values Malphurs writes, are what "drive[s] the ministry vehicle" and "make[s] sure that ministry leadership know[s] itself". (18) Constant passionate core beliefs that are biblical he suggests create a launching pad for each ministries direction and intent.
II. In the second section Aubrey Malphurs asks the reader to define and develop a mission both congregationally and personally. This he writes is to be used to develop a credo: a credo that defines the mission. And mission as he puts it is "a broad biblical statement of what the organization is supposed to be doing." The question "what is mission" should answer another question: "what are we trying to do?" (67) Mission comes out of determining your niece and seeing what can be done. In this section as well Malphurs distinguishes between setting personal and professional mission statement but includes some conflict management tools as helps. In addition Malphurs also includes a template for creating a written mission statement. This mission is cognitive and describes where the church is going and what it is doing. (109)
III. In the third section Aubrey Malphurs defines and develops the idea of vision, and examines the distinction between mission and vision. Vision is contrasted and compared and identified as a picture of what the readers' ministry "can and must be" in the future. (92) As is now customary there is again a personal and professional distinction after definition and development. Vision Malphurs writes, "inspires people to pursue and follow the mission", it is the mental photograph of where the mission takes us. (108) Vision is of the heart, not the head and is more communication than action. (109)
IV. In the fourth section Aubrey Malphurs defines and develops the concept of ministerial strategy. As Malphurs writes, "strategy is the process that determines how you will accomplish the mission of your ministry." It is the stair step to the destination. (137) If vision is the destination, and mission the vehicle then the strategy is the map you take with you on your journey.
V. The book then ends with strategic helps in the form of templates from example credos, core values and mission statements, to vision development gages, and a sample church strategy.
Assessment, use and transferability
There are a great number of positives in my assessment of this book. There are clear definitions for everything. The charts create a visual appeal. Distinctions between concepts are organized effectively to clarify definitions and separate and explain terms. A good case is made for the development of core values and the vocalization of them. Mr. Malphurs does not proceed with naive optimism as he addresses how preconceived notions about the Church are responsible for the direction and indeed most turmoil in churches today. Instead he is fairly realistic and pragmatic. A clear assessment of values he suggest will put everyone's cards out on the table and make for a more team based ministry.
It was also very interesting to see the "Types of American Evangelical Churches" Chart 1.2: on page 33. This is an excellent way to determine how people think of the church and pastor. In addition there is an amazing section on resolving value differences that may (or should I say will) arise with any change. (45) There is also a good emphasis on small groups. With churches getting larger and larger today church planting should be getting prepared for a big boom. For some time now those who attend and lead large churches have clearly seen the benefits of the small church community and have understandably attempted to annex it in the creation of small groups. These intimate relationships make churches more focused and better equipped to do to work of God. Anytime larger churches come to see these benefits they are surely on the right track.
There is also a push in this book that its readers not be allowed to forget our biblical mandates while chasing after corporate successes. The mission Malphurs indorses is biblical in nature, and the need for the mission is explained clearly just as if it were the introduction to a good sermon. Still, I think the most convincing portion of this book is a statement about strategy where Mr. Malphurs writes, "Every ministry has a strategy. What is yours?" (143) Clearly this is true: weather we know it or not, we are all in the process of working out a strategy so we had better make sure it's a good and biblically sound one.
I have to say, I am always annoyed by the use or perhaps overuse or trendy buzzwords but this negative is of little concrescence. More importantly though I felt the title to be misleading. The words Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach You in Seminary do not exactly seem accurate here. We are in fact taught everything in this book at this Seminary and though this may be a new trend it is certainly a common one among Divinity schools today. However, what we are not taught: conflict management, legal concerns, budget management, prayer, candidating, monetary concerns, negotiation, relationship solidarity in church and family and a number of other things that would much better fit the title of Ministry Nuts and Bolts: What They Don't Teach You in Seminary.
More to the point I would suggest a larger problem. I have little doubt that this mega-church business model of pastorship will backlash within my lifetime and we have not yet learned how to deal with this possibility. At this point a simple swing people's attendance to want small church again will create massive vacuums in large expensive building and cause major difficulties for denominational headquarters and funding alone. In order to keep attendance high some pastors will no doubt feed the peoples itching ears for monetary concerns and God will be lost somewhere in the middle. Surely this is the biggest problem to face the next generation of pastors in North America. No matter what people are saying now history has taught us that people go from extreme to extreme almost generationally and there is already a huge push for tradition forming in churches today.
Still the biggest negative for this book is that everything rests on the "core values" of the church weather they are unbiblical, misguided or right on target. While it is true that I do not know of any good suggestions for fixing this potentially devastating problem, I do feel it necessary to point out.
Application to Personal Ministry
As far as the application to larger, city church ministry this book is very applicable. Although this is a relatively small portion of positions in North America it commands an entirely different kind of leadership than the average church and this style is very befitting. Many of my difficulties with this book stem from a difference in personal ministerial choice and talent: thus there is a divergence in what I find applicable.
Personally I see myself in either a teaching/small group pastorship in which case this book could prove very important, or a small church pastorship whereby there is little to be gleamed from this book save the importance of goal setting and communication. I find that many of these leadership-style books tend to neglect thinking about small, rural churches where there is no possibility of numerical growth what so ever. (Although almost certainly unintentional, in this book there are clear allusions to Aubrey Malphurs' idea of success and definition of growth that can be seen simply by looking at the people and churches sited and exampled.)
Continually I find myself coming back to the example of my Great Grandmother who is 99 years old this year and lives in a small town of only 45 people: all of whom are over the age of 65. The community is hours away from any town of even 1000 people. Her church has stood and survived for over one hundred years under similar conditions and there is no need for these strategies what so ever. Instead it takes a very special type of pastor to help them "be church" in the ways that they can. Certainly vision can still play a role in this church but the kind of vision that is really being taught about in this book is far beyond the boundaries of what these churches need or can accomplish.
An analysis of the author's use of authorities
This book is by no means a work of research. It is neither an exegetical or interactive with the theological academic community. Rather it is a work of pastoral practicalities and the author has only loose connections to contemporaries and almost no clear interactions with these authorities including a lack of citation. This however does not do detriment to the book nor does it to the topic at hand. Instead the author intends to suggest the assimilation of business "nuts and bolts" into the church to create more clearly defined goals for the Church of tomorrow.
An identification of the author's conclusions and closing recommendations

Aubrey Malphurs concludes the book with a reiteration of the importance of developing and implementing core values, mission directives, and a clearly defined vision. As he says, core values are a launching pad for a ministries direction, mission is what the church is doing, and vision is a picture of what the church is meant to look like. Most importantly though is not the definition of these terms but rather the implementation of what is learned into practical strategies. This is why book includes templates to help with church strategies. In the end Aubrey Malphurs does not simply conclude this book by giving readers yet another augment for setting goals but rather by attempting to make it as easy as possible for leaders to develop their own goals and to achieve them.

Rating the Book

Everything is clear and follows a set albeit monotonous meter.
Clear statement of purpose
Although there is a clear statement of purpose it is a bit jumbled. More importantly
though I do not believe it is completely honest. More than anything this books purpose
seems to be an argument for the creation of solid core values as a basis for ministry.
This book is written at a 6th grade level. This is not a knock at the author - it is the average reading level in the U.S. and Canada. He knows his readers.
Informative content
I think this book is meant to be seen as a part of a series. It seems incomplete and
is loaded with filler and repeat statements. This book could easily have been a 17 page
Usefulness for your understanding and practice of ministry
(In reality I believe that this book has little to do with how Christians are meant to
"Be Church" in the future, and it has even less to do with the real "Nuts and Bolts" of
ministry. However I can say that there is nothing to extreme to argue with here.
churches do need to know where they are going and they do need to see the road they are
traveling on. Most important to this book though is the "Sample Church Strategy" in
Appendix G.

Human strategies based on human visions and business ideas...  Apr 29, 2006
This sounds like Satan's recipe for making ineffective pastors. John MacArthur, of The Master's Seminary has written much about the liberalization of seminaries. Here is another book endorsing exactly what seminaries should not be doing, dreaming up visions and strategies and business plans instead of trusting God's word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Check out MacArthur's "Anatomy of a Church."
Excellent Primer on Church Strategic Planning!  Jan 19, 2005
This title is one of several books I have read by Aubrey Malphurs. He is, in my estimation, the best authority on church strategic planning for established, evangelical churches. In this volume, the author gives an overview of church strategic planning, ideal for a seminary graduate beginning his first pastorate or an older pastor who is just beginning to think strategically. To get the full scope of Malphurs' thought, the best title is "Advanced Strategic Planning." This work could have been entitled "Basic Strategic Planning" -- it is a good introduction to the subject.

If you're looking for a resource person on church strategic planning, you simply can't go wrong with Malphurs. Everything I have read by him is top-notch and first-rate.
Practical insights about getting leadervalues down on paper.  Jul 15, 1999
Malphurs is the best writer of practical planning and the development of a church's strategy that I have seen to date. He takes the mission, vision, values of various organizations and shows how they are of immense importance for preventing conflict and setting goals. I use this book when I consult with pastors and elders around the world. He takes advantage of the information in both business and religion to help leaders think about their goals and thenfollow through on them.

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