Peace if possible. Truth at all costs. ~ Martin Luther

“The Renegade Pastor” by Nelson Searcy [Book Review]

RP-Book-3DThis book review is, I guess, of most interest to my colleagues in ministry (although it would make a great gift for your pastor!)

By my count, The Renegade Pastor, is Nelson Searcy’s 12th book in print, not including scores of other ebooks and digital resources he’s produced. But THIS book is probably the one I would recommend as the best starting place if you’ve never read anything of his before.

Nelson is a working pastor in the trenches of daily ministry, but he is also a pastor’s coach. In fact he has coached more than 2,000 church leaders over the past few years, with thousands more buying his books and resources. He has a unique gift of being able to “put handles on the job” so that a pastor hits the office running every morning knowing exactly what he has to do to create an environment for church health. And church health leads to church growth.

In this book, Nelson really outlines his overall approach to pastoring; his philosophy of ministry. It’s based around 7 commitments of a “Renegade Pastor”:

  1. Follow the Lord (Doing the Work of God Without Destroying God’s Work in You)
  2. Love Your Family (Refusing to Sacrifice Your Family on the Altar of Ministry)
  3. Fulfill Your Calling (Becoming All God Has Called You to Be)
  4. Manage Your Time (Taking Control of Your Most Limited Commodity)
  5. Shepherd Your Flock (Demystifying Your Job Description)
  6. Maximize Your Church (Structuring Your Church for Maximum Impact)
  7. Expand God’s Kingdom (Embracing Your Place Within the Bigger picture)

Throughout the book, the reader is introduced to the 8 Systems every church NEEDS to have in place in order to be healthy. There are then recommendations of specific resources that will help with this.

No pastor can do the job without seeking the Lord in prayer, and being obedient to His voice. This book will help pastors effectively deal with the unavoidable practical issues so that they are actually freed up to spend more time praying and studying God’s Word.

No two churches are alike, and “cookie cutter” models do not work. They are ultimately only frustrating and waste a lot of time and resources. Nelson focuses on principles over mere methods. Any church will benefit from the insights he offers.

I know I sound like a fan. I am. Nelson Searcy has helped me tremendously with the practics of daily ministry. I am sincerely grateful to him, and I can point to specific examples in our own church of fruitfulness that is the direct result of having implemented his advice.

The subtitle of The Renegade Pastor is “Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry”.  Read it and be challenged to do just that.  Get your pastor a copy today!