The idea for this book began with a personal conviction. That conviction is based on what I regard to be one of the most dangerous problems facing Jesus Christ’s followers. The dangerous problem: the gap that exists and often separates a congregation from its appointed leadership. The gap exists for two basic reasons (many things contribute to the gap’s existence). (1) A basic contributor is the unrealistic expectations of a congregation. (2) Also, a basic contributor is the leadership’s concept that focuses on being an administrative force instead of focusing on people.

This gap must be reduced and—if possible—eliminated. Congregations must change expectations that crush instead of encourage leaders. Leaders must stop being administrators who are removed from the people and people’s needs. To the degree that the gap is eliminated by successful understandings, to that degree will a congregation become more spiritually effective.

The chapters are short by intent. Attention was given to making the thoughts readable, thought-provoking, and insightful. For most people, time is frequently a problem. Hopefully, the material is presented in a manner that makes you want to read it as it encourages you to think.

Some of the concepts are repeated. Hopefully, each time such occurs, it occurs in a different context. There are times when a concept is relevant to different situations. Hopefully, the repetition is a constructive part of the situation under consideration.

This is not a “how to” book. The reasons for it not being a “how to” book should be evident as you read. A method that may work wonderfully with people at one place may be highly ineffective with other people in other places. What is needed at one stage of spiritual development frequently is not needed in another stage of spiritual development. A method that serves well in one generation may not be effective in future generations.

This is a “think about it” book. Your agreement with the material or the presentation of the material is not sought. If you think, see the need, and understand the problems, the book’s purpose is served. Agreement or disagreement is not the foundation for effectiveness of the material. To regard the material as THE solution to a complex problem would be arrogance. Seeing the need, understanding the need, and seeking to address the need in meaningful ways are the focus of the material.

If good Christian men are to serve as shepherds who guide the flock (congregation) closer to God and His purposes in Jesus Christ, they should include “a walk in the pasture” in their concept of leading. Good congregational leadership knows the problems of the daily lives of the congregation’s people, and it addresses those challenges. Good leaders help the people they lead. Good congregations respect the sacrifices of the men who serve in leadership.

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