"Learning from your own mistakes might be the best way, but it is a hard way. It is much better to learn from the mistakes of others."
These words, spoken to David Self by his father, apply equally not only to an individual's challenges and responsibilities, but also to the rules of church leadership. Too many church leaders fail due to violating one or more of these rules, which are based on lessons from the Bible and the words of the first leaders of the Christian church. Executive pastor and author Dr. David Self follows the narrative of Paul's farewell address to the Ephesian Elders in Acts 20 and relates it to his experiences during the five-year interim of Houston's First Baptist Church.
Emphasized are ten principles of church leadership based on Paul's instruction and illustrated through Self's generational wisdom, passed from father to son for a cumulative ninety years of ministerial experience. Each chapter offers scriptural passages for focus and reflection, related personal experiences from shepherding one of America's largest congregations in its time of transition, and the skills needed in any church environment.
Paul bestowed upon the Ephesians wisdom in passing on the baton of church leadership, teaching them the pitfalls to avoid and the principles to follow. By learning the lessons of those who came before us, we can realize the joys and lessen the heartaches of church work, knowing there is no better place to invest our time.