Church Revitalization Book Review: Smooth Sailing, How to Avoid Storms in Your Ministry

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Jerry Wilkins is one of us, having served as the associational missionary for the Tuscaloosa County Baptist Association for 28 years. During that time, Jerry developed a reputation for excellence in leadership and ministry, one who defined and practiced the A-B-Cs for church health. 

Like the biblical book of Proverbs, Jerry’s book is filled with salient points of wisdom: 60 in all. Gleaning from his experience of working with 80 churches and 400 ministers, Jerry has near-Solomonic advice, do’s and don’ts of effective leadership. Church revitalization is dependent on leadership: both clergy and lay.

Some examples of the words of wisdom:

  • Storm 7: Balance: “A minister must lead his church forward in all the church’s ministries, not just the one the minister enjoys most.”
  • Storm 9: Criticism: “Criticism is part of the ministry … Look at criticism as helpful … Thank the one who criticizes you.”
  • Storm 14: Vision: “Many leaders slide into a ‘reactive’ leadership role rather than a proactive role, simply because of the fear of failure.”
  • Storm 33: 47,000 Words a Day: “Too much talking could be the thunder that precedes a storm …Some ministers just talk way too much.”

This is just a sample of the words of wisdom that can make for an effective ministry and a healthy church: 60 storms and far more than 60 ways to navigate away from shipwreck and toward church revitalization.


State Missionary Dale Huff serves as director of the Office of LeaderCare & Church Administration. He may be contacted at 334-613-2316, dhuff@alsbom.org.

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Thanks to WSFA-TV in Montgomery for this report about Yellow Shirt Army volunteers preparing to deploy under the leadership of State Missionary

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