The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber

April 16, 2014

“If you had to choose one book to help a person embarking on pastoral ministry, what would it be?” We posed that question to some pastors and professors. Here are their choices. —Ed.

“The church doesn’t need to be run like a business,” a mentor once told me, “but it surely shouldn’t be run like a bad business.” That’s why the book I’d recommend is a book about small business failure and success. Imagine a woman who loves baking cookies, or a teenager who plays a wicked blues guitar, or a gardener who has a knack for growing daisies. Encouraged by others, they decide to turn their passion into a career. Quickly they find out that a passion for baking, strumming, or growing daisies isn’t the same as a skill for starting and growing a business. Without the latter, they won’t be able to enjoy the former.

Something similar happens to people with a sincere passion for preaching, counseling, leading worship, teaching, praying, or disciple making. Church leadership is about leadership—and that includes organizational and financial leadership. The E-Myth helped me when I was coping with a minister’s complex and sometimes competing demands. I think it will help other ministers, too.

Read all reflections.