Miller is a former pastor and church planter who is currently a church development consultant with Discovering Life Ministries (www.buildmychurch.com). This two-volume work is a collection of articles originally published in The Church Planter newsletter. Miller has updated these previously published articles and added additional material to create a two-volume work of practical advice for pastors.
Miller is ambitious in trying to cover a full array of potential topics, including the following: church planting, evangelism, church education, preaching, music, church growth, missions, stewardship, administration, finance, church documents, leadership, staff development, facilities, and personal development. The positive aspect of a book like this is that it is a great time saver for young pastors just beginning their ministries. Miller’s writing style is warm and inviting. And for the most part the advice and tips he offers are good practical nuggets of handy truth.
But the drawback to such an approach is that in the quest to cover every imaginable topic related to pastoral ministry, none of the topics is discussed with any significant depth. This is not unique to this book, of course, for many one-stop church administration and leadership books fall into a similar trap. So while there is much in the book for the first-time pastor, much of the material will be review for more experienced ministry leaders. For the price of these two volumes, an experienced ministry leader could probably purchase several separate books on these various topics and cover much of the same material at greater depth.
Unfortunately the book has no index for easy searching. While the topics are arranged logically, an index would have been helpful.
About the Contributors
Dr. George M Hillman Jr. serves as the Vice President for Education and Professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary. He oversees all Seminary activities related to academics and student life. This includes overseeing the extension campuses (Austin, Atlanta, Guatemala, Houston, San Antonio, Washington, D.C.), teaching locations in NW Arkansas and College Station, an extension initiative in Ft. Worth, and Online Education (English, Chinese, and Spanish), admissions, registrar, financial aid, academic advising, Spiritual Formation and Ministry Formation programs, student government, student counseling services, and student activities. Prior to stepping into the role of Vice President in 2017, George served as the Chair of the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department at DTS. He oversaw the MA in Christian Education and the MA in Christian Leadership degree programs. He is also the former Director of Internships at DTS.
George came to DTS in 2002 with years of pastoral experience in churches and parachurch organizations in Texas and Georgia. Nationally known in theological field education, he has been active in the leadership of both the Association of Theological Field Education (former member of the National Steering Committee) and the Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators (former two-time national co-chair). In his role as Vice President for Education DTS, George has become active in the Association of Christians in Student Develop (ACSD), the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), and the National Association of International Educators (NASFA) . He is the author or co-author of six books on theological field education, church educational ministry, pastoral leadership, and several journal articles on similar topics.
George has a BS in Sociology from Texas A&M University, an MDiv and PhD in Education Administration from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. George has a passion for education, spiritual formation, and leadership development.
George is active in leadership at Frisco Bible Church. He is a rabid college football fan and loves good barbeque. He has been married to his wife Jana since 1990, and they have one grown daughter who is pursuing a career in the arts. They live in Frisco, Texas.