31 August 2010

Phil Douglass: Your Church Has a Personality

Dr. Douglass is Professor of Practical Theology (what theology isn't?) at Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, where he has taught since 1986. In 2008 P&R published his book, What Is Your Church's Personality? Discovering and Developing the Ministry Style of Your Church. In some ways the book sums up the heart of what Dr. Douglass is contributing to Covenant Seminary, its students, the PCA, and the broader church.

You can view a 9-minute video interview with him about the book here.

One reason I'm eager for the new earth, aside from freshly stocked largemouth bass, is hearing from the Lord how strategic and far-ranging an impact Dr. Douglass made in the kingdom, far beyond what we can detect. He meets with every new student+wife for two hours (one hour if single) every fall semester, and does the same for outgoing students in the spring semester. That's a massive chunk of time. Time that could be spent reading, writing--'making a name for himself' (yuck). Instead he has determined to pour into the students in this critical way. When together they review that individual's spiritual gifting, personal wiring, ministry vision, core passions, and so on. Not an efficient use of his time. But invaluable to the students.

And with this book, Dr. Douglass is helping not only individuals but churches understand how they are wired, and how to wisely match up prospective staff with their church's personality.

On a personal note, it would be difficult to express how important Dr. Douglass was to me as a student at Covenant. From interaction with other students and pastors I know that my testimony is the norm. I will spend the rest of my life with two things drilled into me. One, godliness trumps everything. Two, awareness of specific personality wiring, while secondary to godliness, is wise, strategic, neglected, and will spare some (not all) heartache. Wish I could clone Phil Douglass and put one in each seminary.

Thanks for putting flesh and blood on Philippians 2:4, Dr. D. I love you.

A website has been set up around this book here.

Over at the P&R site you can view the table of contents, which shows the eight church personalities Dr. Douglass has diagnosed, or read chapter one online.

1 comment:

Jude St.John said...

"One reason I'm eager for the new earth, aside from freshly stocked largemouth bass" LOL! I'm pretty sure only smallies will make it to heaven.