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BOOK REVIEW by HOLLY SMITH, Managing Editor, The California Southern Baptist News Journal

Bob Lewis, retired Calfornia pastor and Sacramento director of missions, has written a book I think every church leader should read -- especially pastors. The premise is "understanding and confronting church conflict and dissension,"something every church deals with eventually.
Having been in a church that had "barnacles" the pastor did not address, causing massive conflict later and ultimately the near-demise of the congregation, I could relate personally to Lewis's encouragement to leaders to address problems before they become a crisis. He describes a barnacle as "a sea creature that attaches itself to ships -- in the same way problems can attach to the church. Sailors get rid of barnacles. Christians should get rid of problems attached to the church."
Those problems generally include unruly church members and/or relationships in the church family, but also leaders themselves and their ability -- or inability -- to address issues percolating in the congregation.
"In plain words, barnacles are the acts of non-Christ-like behavior and activity in the church. Some of these unholy activities, processes, or attitudes will appear in the form of false doctrine, conflicts, fights, sinful behavior, organizational politics, and any intrusion of the flesh into the life of the church," Lewis writes.
In straightforward language, he encourages pastors and church leaders to take action, providing practical ways they can do so while also retaining harmony in the church.
At the end of each chapter is a "case study" (often humorous, sometimes in a sad way!) followed by group discussion questions, if the book is used in a group study setting.
Pastors hesitating to deal with their churches' "barnacles," please read this book!

Religione e spiritualità
10 gennaio
Robert Lewis

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