A New Beginning for Pastors and Congregations: Building an Excellent Match Upon Your Shared Strengths

by Kennon L. Callahan. Jossey-Bass, 1999.

Author and consultant Kennon Callahan targets the first three months of a new pastorate. This book is directive and specific, with detailed, supportive suggestions. For example, Callahan suggests a carefully selected “Welcome Team” to assist a church’s new pastor with visiting members, getting to know the community, preaching helpful messages, leading with compassion, selecting projects, and having fun. Callahan encourages visiting and listening, and insists that leadership and ministry be grounded in the lives of the people. In his closing chapters, the author offers suggestions for a positive planning retreat, but reminds the pastor to initiate or participate in such a retreat only after he or she is known as a loving, listening leader. Honest about the church's weaknesses, this book is also optimistic about the church and its leaders. It is a must read for both pastors considering a new beginning and congregational leaders considering the call of a new pastor.