Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: Setting Your Church Free by Neil T. Anderson and Charles Mylander

I am a Neil T. Anderson fan.  Many of his books have helped me immensely in my Christian walk and he is one of the few authors to address spiritual warfare in a rational, non-sensationalistic way.  While his style can be a little rigid and many of his books begin to repeat one another, his messages are so critical to the Church today that I just suck it up and deal with the lackluster style.

Because of how well he has dealt with the spiritual warfare issue in other books, I was glad to see this title, Setting Your Church Free:  A Biblical Plan for Corporate Conflict Resolution come from an author like him.  Based on the change in writing style, I can tell that the second author Charles Mylander contributed heavily to this book, but it is still the same tone and biblical rigorousness that I've come to appreciate from Dr. Anderson.

I just have one qualm with this book...the title is misleading.  I was expecting a book that dealt mainly with conflict resolution and I'm pretty sure that is how the focus of this book started out.  But this book soon branched into all areas of church management that may need retooling in order to align churches back into a more Christ-centered mindset.  While I'm still disappointed that the title doesn't match, this is one of the rare instances where the book delivered far more than the title let on.

I do have a caveat that I want to alert readers to, though.  While 95% of this book is applicable to any church, the authors assume a very traditional church setting, one with pastors, associate pastors, elders, administrators/deacons, etc.  Many churches today still use that model, but there are a growing number who are abandoning the formal hierarchy for a more Acts-like grass roots church.  These readers may find some of his suggestions about leadership structure a bit stodgy and overly formal.

Overall, I recommend this book to anyone in church leadership, especially Senior Pastors and Elders.  There even is some information in here about how to present these ideas to the other leaders of the church and even on how to hold a seminar on the material.

I was provided this book free of charge from Bethany House in return for my HONEST review.

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