Dick Hardy is a personal friend and a pastoral leadership consultant. He has the gift of distilling ministry advice down to its practical essence, a gift that is on full display in Right Turns, his second book. (The first is 27 Tough Questions Pastors Ask.)
Right Turns addresses six topics that pastors—especially lead pastors—continually deal with: leadership, volunteer development, guest retention, personal life, staffing, and criticism. Dick has a few words here and there about preaching, but the book focuses on the bulk of what pastors do outside the pulpit.
Each of the chapters is short and addresses a specific how-to issue, often with an enumerated list of suggestions. For example, here is the title and substance of chapter 2: “Responding to Tithe Terrorists.” Describing people who use money as the carrot/stick to get pastors to perform their preferred ministries as “tithe terrorists” is funny and apt, as well as typical of Dick’s writing style. Chapter 8, “Six Steps in Determining Which Ministries to Stop Doing” delivers on its titles with precisely that.
By organizing his book this way, Dick enables pastors to read Right Turns as an instruction manual rather than as a novel. In other words, they can skip straight to the parts that interest them rather than reading it sequentially from beginning to end.
Right Turns is heavy on ministry practice and light on ministry theory. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest theology of ministry, this is not your book. If you’re looking for advice from a seasoned practitioner about how to do the daily stuff of ministry, this is a very useful book.
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