Book Reviews

Building the Church

A Comprehensive Manual for Church Administration

H. Joseph Miller Greenville, SC 2003-05-01

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.

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George M. Hillman
Dr. Hillman has a passion for education, spiritual formation, and leadership development. He came to Dallas Theological Seminary with years of ministry experience in churches and parachurch organizations in Texas and Georgia. Nationally known in theological field education, he has been active in leadership of both the Association of Theological Field Education (former member of the Steering Committee) and the Evangelical Association of Theological Field Educators (former two-time co-chair). He and his wife have one daughter. Dr. Hillman received his BS from Texas A&M University, followed by an MDiv and PhD from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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