Ten Dumb Things Churches Do

And How to Avoid Them

Philip Wiehe

Aug/2001, 128 Pages, PAPERBACK, 5.5 x 8.5

ISBN-13: 9780819218759



Ten Dumb Things Churches Do is about making the system we call the local church into one that truly reflects what we believe the body of Christ is supposed to be--a community that exemplifies the gospel through its life together and its presence in the world. Knowing when we’ve done that, however, is difficult to measure. A business makes money, the Red Cross provides emergency relief, and a symphony orchestra makes beautiful music. But what exactly is the church supposed to do and how should it do that?

Based on his years as an Episcopal priest and church consultant, Philip Wiehe writes here about the church as it is today and how we will need to retrofit it to fulfill its mission in the years to come. Along the way he exposes ten dumb things—traps that churches often fall into, including: being too business-like or not business-like enough; failing to do strategic planning; falling into the mission statement trap; making decisions poorly; internal turf wars; being confused about identity; and others. Written in an engaging and accessible style, Wiehe provides clergy and lay leaders of congregations with specific steps for undoing the messes they find themselves in, or even avoiding them altogether.

Philip Wiehe is a church consultant, specializing in helping parishes with clergy searches, long-range planning, mission statements, crisis management, and vestries. He is an Episcopal priest who lives in Virginia.

"This book gives you the back-side of management, starting with the common glitches everybody runs into in congregations. Its wisdom points toward a variety of healthy approaches to making congregations effective and faithful--in spite of what we do." -- Loren Mead, author of The Once and Future Church

"Wiehe has given us an insightful book that is especially useful to any church in clergy transition or considering transition. A local church and its leadership could take a shortcut to wisdom and better self-understanding through the brief pages of Wiehe's book" --Rev. Dr. Jeffrey L Bullock

"As an Episcopal priest for more than twenty-five years with experience in a variety of parish settings both as a pastor and a consultant, Wiehe is very familiar with the multitude of dumb things congregations do. He has chosen ten particularly unfortunate patterns in congregational life and the result is a well-founded, very readable, and insightful little book. His approach reflects well the mainstream of the congregational development literature balanced with sound theological insight and a keen sense of the grace and daily struggle of parish life."--Stephen F. Hopkins, for Anglican Theological Review



  • Church Administration
  • Church Management

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