Schaller and Bird, Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller


Lyle E. Schaller and Warren Bird, Wisdom from Lyle E. Schaller: The Elder Statesman of Church Leadership. Abingdon Press, 2012.

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LifeandLeadership.com Summary

This is a distillation of best insights from a man known as the “Dean of Church Consultants,” who is believed to have consulted with over 6,000 churches. I often tell my students that if they ignore Lyle Schaller, they do so to their peril. Here, Warren Bird surveys 60 of Schaller’s 96 books and gleans from scores of contemporary church leaders who share what they have learned from him. If you have ever wanted a compendium of what Schaller says on a given topic, this book presents it, and points you where to go in his writings for more information.

The book is divided into two parts. Part One discusses the life of Lyle Schaller, including what influenced him, what he has written, and what Schaller believes are the biggest issues that will shape the future of the church in America.  Part two takes a long list of topics, offering quotes from Schaller on each subject, along with stories from leaders who were impacted by his insight in that area. Subjects include:

First year of pastorate

Following a long-term pastor

Most important staffing mistakes to avoid

Best way to introduce change in a church

Most important thing a church planter can do

Building on the strengths of a small-attendance church, medium-sized church, large church, or very large church

Expanding the teaching ministry of the church

Developing new funding sources for mission

Land mines to avoid in a merger

How churches learn to see themselves more accurately

Why innovation is important in a church

Most important strategies for change

The challenges of turning a church’s plateau in attendance

Creating dissatisfaction with the status quo

The importance of developing allies and how

How leaders can improve their decision-making process

The biggest issue when a church thinks about relocating

Whether a church should become multisite

The leadership style that is best for a congregation

Why small groups are so vital for a congregation

How to get more people to volunteer

When it’s time to resign

**For a summary, click here for the Kindle Version, go to right column, and download the free sample. If you don’t have a free Kindle Reader on your computer, there’s a link for that too.

Publisher’s Description

One poll declared him the most influential American church leader of the last 100 years. Lyle E. Schaller has written literally millions of words of insight and advice for church leaders. His books alone number nearly 60 titles and span 40 years of publication, beginning in 1964.

Now, this single volume makes available his best insights, organized by topic and framed with fascinating background perspective of Schaller himself. This volume both introduces Schaller to a new generation of church leaders and is a handy resource for those who grew up on Schaller’s writing and count him as a major ministry influence.

About the Author

Lyle E. Schaller is the country’s leading interpreter of congregational systems and their vitality. He is the author of dozens of books, including From Geography to Affinity, also published by Abingdon Press. He lives in Naperville, Illinois.

Warren Bird (www.warrenbird.com) credits Lyle Schaller’s speaking and books as a major influence in his development. Warren is one of the nation’s leading researchers of church leaders, focusing on high-impact congregations recognized for their health, evangelism and leadership development. He is the director of research for Leadership Network, a non-profit that provides peer groups and resources for innovative church leaders. An award-winning writer, Warren has collaboratively authored 24 books and more than 200 magazine articles or online reports, all on subjects related to church health. An ordained minister, he has been a church planter and staff pastor. He graduated from Wheaton College and Graduate School (B.A., M.A.), Alliance Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Fordham University (Ph.D.) in sociology of religion, and has served as an adjunct professor at Alliance Theological Seminary since 1995. He and his wife Michelle live in metro New York City. They have two grown children.

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