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 academic affairs and student life. Before stepping into this role, Dr. Hillman served as Vice President for Student Life and Chair of the Educational Ministries and Leadership department at DTS. As department chair, he oversaw the MA in Christian Education degree and the creation of the MA in Christian Leadership degree. He is also the former Director of Internships at DTS, where he developed the seminary’s ministry residency program.
Dr. Hillman came to DTS in 2002 with years of pastoral experience in churches and parachurch organizations in Texas and Georgia. He is the author or co-author of six books and several journal articles on theological field education, church educational ministry, and pastoral leadership.
Dr. Hillman has a BS in Sociology from Texas A&M University, an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a PhD in Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has a passion for education, spiritual formation, and leadership development.
He is a rabid college football fan and loves good barbeque. He and his wife have one grown daughter pursuing a career in the arts.