Sharing in Christ By Sharing Ourselves
By Andrew Root (IVP, 2013)

The Facts: Professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary, Andrew Root, challenges pastors to examine their motivations in creating relationships. Are we seeking relationships to serve others and promote the gospel? Or are we seeking them in order to gain strategic connections and advance our own agendas? As a former Young Life staffer, Root has plenty of experiences to complement his thoughtful biblical engagement. The Relational Pastor will fuel valuable discussion on any leadership team.

The Slant: It is not often you find a work that is so full of practical relational insight, while maintaining theological depth. Root's work doesn't offer anything shockingly novel, but it is a theologically rich call to refocus on the relational side of ministry.—Andrew E. Stoddard

Accidental Pharisees

Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith
By Larry Osborne (Zondervan, 2012)

The Facts: Teaching pastor at North Coast Church, and multisite pioneer, Larry Osborne, walks us through the shadow side of passionate faith. Osborne insists that overzealousness is dangerous. Through historical, biblical, and cultural analysis, Osborne highlights the pitfalls of pride, exclusivity, legalism, nostalgia, uniformity, and gift projection (reading your personal calling onto the lives of others). Osborne moves beyond mere critique by offering a reorienting segment as a part of each topic.

The Slant:Accidental Pharisees is one part education, two parts challenge. Whether you are a seasoned pastor, eager seminarian, or active lay leader, there is something here for you. Osborne gives you room to breathe while pushing you toward a life of humble leadership. —Andrew E. Stoddard

Keeping it Real

Just how transparent should you be with those you lead? has a downloadable resource, "How Honest Should I Be?" that includes wisdom from ministry experts on how to lead with an appropriate level of self-disclosure while avoiding making authenticity an idol. The resource is directed at women leaders, but will benefit anyone in a leadership role. Visit

Legal Matters provides training and expert advise on confidentiality and clergy-penitent privilege.

Every day, church leaders wrestle with difficult decisions, including how to maintain confidentiality and how to correctly apply the clergy-penitent privilege while also fostering a culture of transparency. is a comprehensive online resource designed to help church leaders with critical law, tax, finance, and risk management matters. Visit

Money Matters

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability offers ministries resources and financial oversight.

The ECFA is an accreditation organization dedicated to helping ministries earn the public's trust through adherence to standards of stewardship. They focus on board governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising, and proper use of charity resources. Membership in ECFA provides not only oversight, but a wealth of resources especially beneficial for smaller churches on topics relating to church governance, financial management, and stewardship. Visit

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