I feel like a new daddy again tonight as I hold my long anticipated (but too frequently edited) book that has arrived from the printer. The desire for perfection and the conflicting desire to get it in your hands have finally converged and The Church At Work: A manual for excellent church-agency relations has been born!
You can get The Church At Work through the CCCC store (as an e-book and in hard copy with shipping included in the price), at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca. Login to CCCC as a member to get the member discount. The newest CCCC publication is designed to help Christian ministries work better together and present a better witness to the relational life of the kingdom of God. It examines the most strained relationship, that between churches and independent Christian agencies, and provides both a theology for how they are related to each other and a practical set of principles for how to ensure they have good relations.
The research was based on:
- a theological forum I hosted on church structure,
- a large attitude survey of pastors and agency leaders and what they think of each other,
- a study of specific church-agency relationships in which both parties thought the relationship was great, and
- a demographic survey of 100 agency leaders to find out who they are and how they got to their positions.
The research and illustrations are 100% Canadian, although we know the research is equally applicable in the United States. My new baby has practical ‘workbooks’ for churches and agencies to work through to examine themselves and help them be more responsible for their part of the relationship. It also includes a helpful paper that John Stackhouse wrote for the theological forum and sample covenant agreements that some ministries use.
You’ll enjoy reading the stories of people just like you. Some of the people you may know and others may be new to you, but their stories of successful ministry relationships will inspire you to think again about the possibilities that open up when you collaborate with other ministries.
Jerry White, International President Emeritus of The Navigators, wrote the foreword of this book and says in it:
“This is the most complete discussion on the topic that exists. It is an invaluable resource for pastors and Christian workers across the range of ministries in the broader Body of Christ. Dr. Pellowe not only delves into the scriptures and into history, but also gives practical guidelines for relating among the structures. Anyone who is concerned about advancing the Kingdom of God and who wants to see unity in the Body of Christ needs this study and its practical applications.”
I have no financial interest in the success of this book, so I will shamelessly plug it and say, if you are in ministry, “You need to read it!”
Congratulations John! I’m looking forward to the read. The subject matter is very timely for a number of churches I’m connected with who are wading into the church-agency waters.
Just heard about the new book from Jessica and can’t wait to read it.
Thanks Scott. It’s now available as an e-book from cccc.org/store. Have a great term at ICS!
I have just finished reading this book, and was truly overwhelmed by the timely insights which transcend the “either/or” syndrome between the ekklesial legal structure of the church and the agencies whose leaders are fulfulling God’s call on their lives in reaching out beyond a church building to the community,the nation and to the nations. I think that the issue every local congregation faces is how many Abe Schmidt’s could their administration handle before the church structure becomes a bottleneck limiting lay ministry? Thank you for writing a masterpiece in which theology and practicality, vision and administration, come together in a way that is doable, and can result in greater increase for the Kingdom of God than the older inflexible wineskins that have pitted the agencies as illegitimate rather than fellow-heirs and as mature sons that inherit the promised blessings of God together!