The Fly in the Ointment

Why Denominations Aren't Helping Their Congregations...And How They Can

J. Russell Crabtree

Oct/2008, 176 Pages, PAPERBACK, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9780898696066



An ecumenical resource that helps churches and church leaders begin to think about how to transform their regional associations into vital, flourishing organizations—transformation that requires deep, systemic change on the part of the bodies that are meant to help congregations live into their mission in the world.    

J. Russell Crabtree is a Presbyterian minister and founder of Holy Cow! Consulting in Columbus, Ohio, which offers strategic planning, management training, operational planning, coaching, staff retreats, and other services to spiritual and secular organizations. He is the co-author of The Elephant in the Boardroom: Developing a Pastoral Succession Plan for Your Church and the author of Mountain of Light: The Story of Montana de Luz.

"Church leaders who desire to transform their regional associations need to read this book. Russ Crabtree offers a perspective that is lacking in denominational circles about the current reality and condition of the church. It challenges current assumptions and efforts of church leaders who are attempting to do transformational ministry, while at the same time offering strategic insights as to how to facilitate lasting systemic change and renewal. The Fly In the Ointment is a must read for church leaders who don’t want to 'do business as usual' and those who have a passion to help the church meet the challenges and changing nature of Christian ministry in the 21st century. Russ Crabtree offers strategic insights for transformational ministry at all levels of the church.  His proactive approach is both practical and hopeful. The Fly In the Ointment  provides a 'game plan' for the transformation of regional associations such as presbyteries, conferences,  and dioceses, and how they can help local congregations move toward vitality and growth."
—The Rev. Douglas  E. Portz, Associate Pastor for Mid-sized Churches, Pittsburgh Presbytery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"If you are holding this book in your hands, you have a longing for judicatories to matter. If you read it, you won't agree with everything Russ says, but you will grapple with things your judicatory can—and should—do that will matter for your mission. I wish I'd had this book when I began to serve Pittsburgh Presbytery in 1998."
—The Rev. Dr. James E. Mead, Pastor to Pittsburgh Presbytery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1998-2007

"The Fly in the Ointment should be a must-read for all who are involved in ministry at a regional level. Russ Crabtree effectively articulates the issues at hand and suggests the steps needed to move regional associations forward in developing vital, healthy congregations. For those of us working at a regional level, it can serve as a catalyst for personal reflection and group interaction."
—Mark R. Stromberg, Associate Superintendent, Northwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church

"This is a very important book for leaders of regional associations to read.  It looks at effective leadership from these organizations in a fresh way and challenges them to truly be servant leaders to the congregations. A very good book."
—The Rev. Mike Weaver, Pastor, All Saints Lutheran Church, Worthington, Ohio


Click For a Book Preview


You May Also Like

Becoming REAL

Sandra T. Montes$21.95

A Way with Words

Adam T. Trambley$19.95

Reweaving the Sacred

Carol J. Gallagher$19.95

Remember the Future

Gerald W. Keucher$23.95

Searching for Sacred Space

John Ander Runkle, Ed.$32.95

Preparing an Episcopal Funeral

Rob Boulter with Kenneth Koehler$11.95