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Surviving the Stained-Glass Jungle

By author: William L. Self
Product Code: H831
ISBN: 9780881462562
Product Format: Hardback
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability:Not currently available.
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Price: $19.00

Surviving the Stained-Glass Jungle is a compelling and positive look at the parish ministry through the eyes of a veteran pastor of more than fifty-three years. The book directly confronts the issues of burnout, conflict, stress, and social concerns. It gives strategy and practical help in navigating through these difficult currents. Self addresses the usual themes of preaching, administration, and pastoral care, but also gives practical help with the issues of the pastor’s own mental health and self-care. This material is written for parish leaders of all mainline denominations and will become a standard for the practice of ministry. The general theme of the book is that the church is worth the effort. The target audience is seminarians and veteran pastors alike in order to encourage them in the task. Laymen would also benefit significantly by reading this book, gaining a better understanding of the ministry. William L. Self has a national reputation as a gifted preacher, pastor, author, lecturer, motivational speaker for corporate America, and innovator in church growth. He has pastored four churches in more than 50 years of ministry, and has survived 14 building programs and more than 1,200 deacons’ and finance committee meetings. He achieved considerable acclaim during his twenty-six-year pastorate at the Wieuca Road Baptist Church in Atlanta, and his leadership and substantial influence have brought Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, a burgeoning suburb north of Atlanta, to the vanguard of fast-growing congregations.
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Review by: Brett Younger, Associate Professor of Preaching, McAfee School of Theology, Atlanta - July 29, 2011
The problem I have with Surviving the Stained Glass Jungle is the date of publication.  I needed to read this honest and encouraging word twenty-five years ago. 
Review by: Charley Reeb, Senior Pastor, Pasadena Community Church - July 29, 2011
Finally, a real book filled with battle tested advice on pastoral ministry. No useless “ivory tower” pontifications in these pages. Just straight shooting wisdom from a faithful preacher with over 50 years of experience in the “Stained-Glass Jungle.” This should be required reading in every seminary. Pastors worth their salt should keep a copy on their desk at all times and refer to it often. If you're serious about being a faithful preacher you must read this book. Keep a Bible in one hand and this book in the other and you will have all you need to survive and thrive in the “Stained-Glass Jungle.”
Review by: Robert Smith, Jr., Professor of Preaching, Beeson Divinity School of Samford University - July 29, 2011
In Surviving the Stained-Glass Jungle, Dr. Bill Self bids us revisit a genre of pastoral theology which connects head and heart, expressing familiar concepts in fresh ways through a metaphorical jungle journey. The reader will hear the awful roar of the Jordan through a practitioner who has been in the wilderness of pastoral ministry for many decades and has crossed over into the promised land of effective pastoral service. This volume will bless the ministries of present and future generations of pastors who respond to the call of God with, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”
Review by: Duke McCall, Former President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Baptist World Alliance - July 15, 2011
Every minister needs an IQ of at least 125. That would enable him or her to read and apply this book to “self.” The book is about spiritual life and leadership, but pious language is not used lest the coating of misuse on the old words deceive the reader. This is Amos talking turkey to the people God has called. It is not meant to reassure but to transform. If I had read this recital from Bill Self’s pastoral ministry while in the seminary, I would have gone back to Vanderbilt law school and begged to join my father’s law firm. On the other hand, I would have been a much more pious clergyman. I would have tried more effectively to be a man of God. I would not have been blindsided by the administrator’s techniques that overwhelm every minister. I would have been content to be human instead of striving for “superman” as every clergy job requires, particularly given that church members and the board of directors assume that superman is routine. This book will shock some, but in God’s grace it could improve the pastors for future generations. I pray it will!

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