Entering Wonderland: A Toolkit for Pastors New to a Church

by Robert A. Harriss. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Large entering wonderland

What can a pastor do to begin well with a congregation? The first months at a congregation can set the tone for the rest of the tenure. This book offers more than 50 tips on how a pastor can be effective during the first year of ministry in a new location. Robert Harris is the author. He has served as a pastor’s coach since 2004. He applies a coaching approach to his writing. This means that the reader is an active participant in engaging with the content. Plenty of questions are offered and are designed to help the pastor evaluate the congregation. The appendix at the end of the book includes worksheets and assignments. Harris uses imagery from Alice in Wonderland to illustrate his points. This provides a universal sense to his observations. His suggestions include observations about assessing trust level, learning about oneself, dealing with difficult behavior, and how best to get to know parishioners. The author is sensitive to size differences. Thus, the book would be useful to leaders in small, medium and large sized congregations.