Reviewed by Gordon Bietz, senior pastor, Collegedale, Tennessee.

In The Senior Minister Schaller continues to provide helpful ideas for those who practice ministry in larger churches. (The Multiple Staff and the Larger Church, published in 1980, was also helpful.) Schaller's approach is to illustrate the needs and problems of the larger church by using a hypothetical pastor and church. This makes for easy reading and practical examples of his points.

The pastor is the pivotal player in the effectiveness of any church, and his or her style of leadership must change when moving from a rural church to a larger one. Schaller defines a large church as one with an attendance of more than 300. People in larger churches need a senior minister who is willing and able to be an initiating leader rather than an enabler. The minister must work more in groups than one on one, and needs to work well with a staff.

The Seventh-day Adventist pastor will discover that because of our distribution of resources, our churches are not as fully staffed as are other large Christian churches. Those who have large churches but no staff may find the book frustrating. I can only suggest that some of the principles can apply to the pastor's work with lay leadership.

One idea that might be particularly helpful in the Seventh-day Adventist Church context is Schaller's suggestion that churches hire part-time specialists who would have a narrow job description, such as visitation, giving Bible studies, working with Sabbath schools, etc. Schaller suggests that churches get more bang for their bucks with that approach. A church could hire four specialists for the price of one full-time pastor. The problem is finding specialists who are adequately qualified and also willing to work part- time. The church has gen rally taken this approach only with retirees who continue to work for a stipend.

Schaller reviews leadership styles and points out their strengths and weaknesses as they relate to the large church. His practical suggestions will benefit any pas tor struggling to get a handle on leading a large church.


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Reviewed by Gordon Bietz, senior pastor, Collegedale, Tennessee.

August 1989

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