In the '80s and '90s, many pastors were taking their cues from the helping professions, earning counseling degrees and melding psychology with theology. These days, you'd be just as likely to find a pastor reading Forbes or earning an M.B.A. In "The Business of Ministry" (page 26), we explore the trend of business-savvy pastors—and what it means for the future of the church. I applaud business leaders who heed the call to full-time ministry, and leave the security and prestige of the corner office for the risks of church planting and the thankless task of pastoral leadership. But, I would caution those who feel Western business practices are naturally compatible with the values of the kingdom—with the same caution I would give those who uncritically marry Scripture and modern psychology. The gospel often confronts our culture's notions of economics ("Command those who are rich ... not to put their hope in wealth"), self-actualization ("He who finds his life will lose it") and even freedom ("You are not your own"). M.B.A.s and D.Min.s certainly come in handy for 21st-century ministry, but the one thing we can't do without is the one thing that seems to be in short supply these days: discernment.
As you may have noticed, there have been multiple complaints from readers about the size format of Ministry Today. When it was relaunched in May 2006, Ministry Today was met with a mixed response. While you liked the more analytical editorial approach ("discerning analysis for innovative church leaders") and contemporary design, many of you complained that the tabloid size was just too unwieldy for your desks, too large for your briefcases and arrived in your mailboxes in less than acceptable physical condition. As a result, we've decided to return the magazine to its classic size with the May/June issue. Look for the same analysis, commentary, practical insight and executive summaries of resources for leaders—but in a more user-friendly package. And keep sending your input on how we're doing. We're listening.
The Library Builder
One of our goals is to recommend resources to help you become more effective in ministry. With this in mind, we'd like to make you aware of a new opportunity to build your ministry library—for pennies on the dollar. In partnership with the book publishing arm of Strang Communications, Ministry Today is offering deep discounts on books that we believe will enhance your library. You'll find titles on current events, Islam, politics, theology, ministry leadership and spiritual life. With discounts as high as 76 percent, you can build your library or that of your church. For more information, see page 16 of the magazine.