Monday, December 23, 2013

Book Review: Ministering to Problem People in Your Church

Marshall Shelley has updated his book about "well-intentioned dragons" in the church.  I'm glad he did.  Reading the real-life stories of pastors who have dealt with difficult people, been scarred by the experiences, and/or been strengthened through the experiences helped me evaluate my own actions. First, am I being a difficult person. Next, am I properly ministering to the difficult people in my life.

I especially appreciated the information about coping with mental illness within the church.  So often it is ignored, whispered about, or spiritualized (just have more faith and you won't be depressed, schizophrenic, etc.)  Shelley recommends practical strategies such as setting clear boundaries with those who are struggling so they don't completely drain the pastoral staff.  He also offers a beautiful story of how a pastor and his church dealt with a disruption of their worship service by a mentally ill woman who was off her medication.  Their kind and helpful example was alone worth reading this book.

This is an absolutely essential resource for anyone doing ministry in a church of any size.

I received a free e-Book from the publisher, Bethany House, for my review.