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Pastor's Handbookcomment (0)

October 18, 2012

By Martine Bates Sharp Ed. D.


John Bisagno. Nashville, Tenn.: B&H Publishing, 2011. 469 pp. (Hardcover).

John Bisagno has spent 60 years in the ministry, serving 30 of those years as pastor of the 25,000-member First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, where he is now pastor emeritus. He also has written 30 books and currently serves as adjunct faculty of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. I don’t usually begin a book review with the author’s credentials, but in this case it seems appropriate. Before my pastor (or my son, also a pastor) takes anyone’s advice, I want him to know the advice-giver knows what he is talking about.

I believe Bisagno knows exactly what he is talking about. 

The book is surprisingly easy to read, written in a conversational style with short chapters that cover everything from God’s vision for a church to taking positions on current issues and many topics in between. The book is full of practical advice produced from wisdom gained in experience and supported by meticulous attention to Scripture. What a great gift for a pastor (or a son, if he happens to be a pastor).

This handbook is a revision of his earlier work, first published a decade ago and now used in all Southern Baptist seminaries.   

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