By Pastor David Dudenhofer
Introduction: In our travels Pastors from time to time will share with us a book that made a significant impact on their ministry and their lives.
When dealing with a situation in our church recently, this book came back off my shelf. I knew what the problem was. I’d seen this before. And, as I sought out more information it became clear to me that no amount of church health practices would do any good until this problem was dealt with. The problem was ingrown, intergenerational antagonism in the form of one antagonist allowed to persist over many years. I told my board of this sin in our camp, and stated rather bluntly that if it were allowed to continue the church would never progress beyond its current plateau.
Haugk’s book, Antagonists In the Church deals with this prevalent problem. Most pastors don’t want to talk about it, because it is so difficult to deal with. Most churches choose to ignore it while pastor after pastor seems to fail at leading their churches into greater spiritual growth. I urged my board to read this book and gave them each a copy. As one board member stated later, “My eyes were opened!” He suddenly saw not only the pattern of antagonism in our church’s history, but the key individual through whom it was at work among us.
As a veteran pastor, I highly recommend this book. Not only should ALL pastoral staff read and talk about it, but board members and other leaders should take in its content as well. I would make it a point for open discussion among ministry teams, denominational gatherings and coaching situations. Reading it will not solve your problem, but it will help you to understand many of the Pastoral Epistles as handbooks for just such situations. Antagonists in the Church is a pretty fast read and has the potential of becoming a catalyst for lasting and God-honoring change.
Pastor David Dudenhofer
Oscoda Baptist Church, Oscoda, MI
Conclusion: Pastor what book in recent days up lifted your soul, changed your thinking or strengthened your leadership? Send us a 2-3 paragraph review and how it impacted your ministry. Email Wanda Manning.