Church Structure That Works is a helpful and practical guide as a local body of believers considers how to do the work of the church. There is much wisdom in this book. You will read it with profit.
Daniel L. Akin
With both a scholar’s mind and a pastor’s heart, Bill Blanchard expertly fills a huge void in the realm of church structure. His book, Church Structure That Works, offers a practical guide to effectively doing the work of the Lord through the local church. I heartily commend this book to anyone faithfully serving the bride of Christ.
James A. Austin
There has never been a time in my over forty years of ministry that I have read a book or attended a conference about church structure. Most churches have generally accepted the structure of the church as it has been passed from generation to generation.
As a pastor and denominational servant, it has been my experience that many problems within the local church are the result of inappropriate church structure. Often the church is governed by a constitution and bylaws that have been duplicated from other churches with only minor changes or, perhaps, written to address specific problems. Therefore, many churches experience failures and problems only to repeat them because the guiding documents are not scripturally based.
Bill Blanchard’s book is long overdue. Through the fervent study of the Scriptures and his experience as a pastor, Bill Blanchard has written a book detailing a biblically principled church structure that will be very helpful to pastors and church leaders everywhere as they strive to organize the church for effective ministry, missions, and evangelism.
Robert A. Boswell
Like a bad sound system, poor church structure is only noticed when something goes wrong. In Church Structure That Works, Dr. Bill Blanchard eliminates the perennial confusion surrounding the “means” and “ends” of building an effective and efficient local church organizational apparatus. Throughout the book, Blanchard reveals his leadership acumen by clearly and masterfully weaving together all of the necessary elements that comprise church structureincluding theological commitments, biblical principles, organizational theory and practical application. By doing so, he fills a much-neglected gap in the church leadership-administration literary genre and strikes the delicate balance of providing pastors, professors and lay leaders alike with a timeless, multicultural and cross-cultural tool that serves as a textbook, workbook, handbook and manual, all rolled up in one. Church Structure That Works is an invaluable gift to the local church from a man with a professor’s mind and a pastor’s heart.
Frederick Cardoza II
In Church Structure That Works, Bill Blanchard offers biblical principles and concrete examples that pastors and church leaders can use to re-engineer their church structure for staff empowerment, accountability and efficiency. This book has been very helpful and affirming as our church has reviewed its structure.
I have served as a pastor in the United States, a missionary in Africa, and a supervisor of missionaries in South America, and have been employed as a seminary missions professor for the past four years. I believe that Dr. Blanchard’s new book fills a much needed gap in our understanding of ecclesiology and, more importantly, its proper, practical application. Although it is obvious that every international and North American church start begins with some kind of structure, all too often missiologists do not give adequate attention to the practical details of church form and government.
Many church-planting practitioners allow the structure for new church plants to either evolve or be copied from denominational templates. Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health examines the issue of church government from a scriptural perspective, applying biblical scholarship to the practical insights of a pastor with 30 years of experience. The result is a congregationalism that balances pastoral authority with competent lay accountability and ministry, allowing the church structure to model the body of Christ, rather than restrict her. Pastors, missionaries, church planters, seminary professors, church leaders and church members will be greatly helped by reading and applying this book.
Many churches seem to base their ministry on pragmatism without giving significant thought to whether or not what they are doing is in accordance with the Word or the will of God. Other churches get in a traditional rut and continue to operate the same way they have been operating for years without any real understanding of why they function as they do. Yet other churches are plagued with selfish members who attempt to exercise their power in a destructive way.
In his book, Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health, Bill Blanchard has developed a biblical approach to church polity which serves as a model for a properly functioning church. This remarkably helpful book has been born out of the crucible of personal experience and a conscientious study of God’s Word. It effectively addresses an area of ecclesiology that has been sorely neglected for years.
When I left for the mission field twenty years ago after nine years in pastoral ministry, I must confess that I harbored a hope and prayer that “it would be different” on the mission field, and that somehow churches there would not suffer some of the all-too common problems of U.S. churches: long and acrimonious business meetings, pastors suffering from burnout, and power struggles resulting in the firings of capable men of God. Unfortunately, I found that both established churches and new church plants in South America and North Africathe two fields where I have served as a church plantersuffered these same problems, a result of systemic weaknesses described in Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health. Without a doubt, each one of these churches that I encountered in the third world would benefit greatly from Dr. Blanchard’s insightful application of biblical principles in the formation and ongoing life and structure of the local church.Whether your context is rural or urban, national or international, I believe that this book will be of great benefit to your ministry.
Our church had just completed a successful journey to a simpler, more biblical church structure when Bill Blanchard and I first talked about this vital topic almost a decade ago. Now, with the wisdom and insights born of leading two churches through similar transitions, Blanchard offers a wealth of practical, biblical guidance that will help many churches bring clarity and health to an area of church life too often characterized by confusion and conflict. I heartily commend Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health.
Sorrows and heartaches are just a part of life. They are, in the final analysis, unavoidable. Nevertheless, there are “church sorrows and heartaches” that not only could be avoided but should be avoided at all costs. I thank God for a pastor like Dr. Bill Blanchard who has identified a root cause for so many difficulties within the church and has known how to address it. This book is essential reading for all pastors, ministerial staff members, church planters, missionaries, deacons, and other church leaders.
On the mission field, church planters passionately seek to develop new believers, leaders and groups that will hopefully become new churches. But when these new disciples become a church, then what? How will the new church function? Thankfully, Bill Blanchard’s Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health answers this critical question with a simple biblical plan to organize a body of believers, whether an established church or a new work, in any context or culture. I recommend this book without hesitation.
A lot is being written and discussed about church health these days, but the solutions to the problems seem to be elusive as suggestions range between over-spiritualizing the issues and resorting to secular organizational models. Dr. Bill Blanchard provides an encouraging alternative in his book Church Structure That Works that is practical and biblical, and comes from successful implementation. Applying this model could move many churches beyond dysfunction to effective ministry, witness and growth.
As a practicing Christian attorney, I am often called upon to offer advice and counsel to churches in turmoil. Having done so for almost 30 years has convinced me that the traditional church structure is in desperate need of revision. Church Structure That Works: Turning Dysfunction into Health provides invaluable insight and advice, and the adoption of its principles will no doubt eliminate much of the strife and conflict that unfortunately permeates many churches today.
In a day when the church is under attack from seemingly every angle, the need for effective organization has never been greater. Waste, whether it is in time, talent or finances, has never been a part of Christ’s desire for His church. In Church Structure That Works, Bill Blanchard sets forth biblically-based, Christ-honoring concepts that cut through the clutter that so often typifies congregational organization. Harry Stonecipher, vice-president of the Boeing Company, once asked his listeners to contrast the difference between a warehouse and a modern airplane. “The warehouse may contain two million parts, but the airplane, to quote an old line, is ‘two million parts flying together in close formation.’”
Such could also be the definition of the well-organized church. Bill Blanchard knows congregational organization like Stonecipher knows airplanes, and he understands that Christ’s church is built on teamwork between vocational staff and laity. Just how close the formation is between those two groups and whether all the parts can work together in varying moments of stress, depend on teamwork. Bill Blanchard provides a blueprint to pull those vastly different parts out of the warehouse and align them in a way that provides for a highly efficient organization, one that is fine-tuned to make the greatest evangelical impact for the kingdom of Christ.