Book reviews are an incredible way for customers to tell other customers what they think and how they feel about purchasing and or reading your books. Here are just a few of the reviews Pastor Keith has received.
BOOK: Welcome To Our Church
I give "Welcome To Our Church: Guide To Creating New Member Packets" a 5 star rating because the content not only goes above and beyond what is required to make a Church Membership Course excellent but it has a few other side benefits adding to its value.
Having been a pastor for 25 years implementing similar programs, I know the benefits of a well laid out presentation. This book does just that. It is concise and easy to read. The Who, What, When, Where, and Why approach with a Past, Present and Future focus assures every angle of what a church offers is covered. Easy to implement, this well organized book with included template will create a document and class that is sure to make new members in your church well informed.
As a bonus, what Keith Hammond offers is a concept that enables you to evaluate every current or emergent program in your church to determine relevance. How does it measure against the criteria the book suggests? Does the program need to be refreshed, or possibly even be dropped? How do we determine if new ideas are good ones?
Whether just starting ministry or if you are well seasoned looking for a fresh approach, I highly recommend this book."
Pastor Murray Comber
Review posted on Amazon
BOOK: Sunday School Teacher's A to Z
James 3:1 admonishes us that those who teach are held at a higher level of accountability. The job of a Sunday School teacher is of the utmost importance, and those who take on the role should not do so lightly. This book is filled with practical tips to help Sunday School teachers effectively acquire students, teach students, and reach students. It is an excellent resource for those who teach as well as those who lead the Christian Education ministry.
Route 66 Ministries
Review posted on Amazon U.S.
BOOK: Tips For Joining A God Church
Are You In A Godly Church? If Not, Could You Be Part Of The Solution?
This book starts well (and finishes great) with: “’Good’ churches are great. ‘Godly’ ones are better”! It is aimed at Christians who are members of a local church as well as those who aren’t.
This book shows exactly what a Godly church looks like (in detail) and is laid out in the form of a workbook, with space to write in answers to challenging and thought-provoking questions.
The sections include: Biblical, anointed, gifted, passionate, faithful, growing, believing, praying & fasting, praising & worshiping, honoring, loving, nurturing, forgiving, helping, listening, etc.
Each section details different aspects of a Godly church –serving, ministry, building, leadership, etc., - and the questions take the form of, ‘My church IS XYZ because…’ and ‘My church may not be XYZ because …’. If your answers are in the ‘may not be’ part, the author challenges the reader to question whether you could be one of the ones to help solve the problem.
At the end of the book, you will either decide that you are in a Godly church, and want to serve with more passion than ever, or that you need to find one. I love Keith Hammond’s books, this is the third I have read and every one has had a big impact on me and how I live.
Michelle Campbell Scott
Review posted on Amazon UK.
BOOK: Church On Sunday Nothing On Monday
The book is written based on a simple but uncomfortable fact that people tend to go to church and feel they should behave like Christians while they are there … but only when they are there.
The author sees the problem as being a barrier, a man-made tradition of only ‘doing’ church on Sundays (and perhaps one night through the week at a Bible study or similar).
He doesn’t judge or condemn – although he can be quite hard-hitting at times - but does offer suggestions on how to change the ritual of only ‘doing’ church on Sundays.
By hard-hitting I mean:
‘Some church leaders have walked away from ministry and mission, to embrace membership and money. This digression has transformed some churches into mega-centers full of people with faith but no works. The ministry of Jesus is in direct opposition to faith without works.’ ‘Some churches are not really churches. They are actually social clubs trying to disguise themselves as a church. They are full of cliques and factions and gossip, etc. They do church on Sunday, nothing on Monday.’ ‘Unfortunately, sitting in most of the churches around the country right now are members of many congregations that have been sitting in the pews and classrooms, receiving the same training over and over and over and over again, year after year, without ever being told it’s time to go put what they’ve been taught into practice.’
Wow. Now that is hard-hitting.
He is not anti-church, though, explaining that a lot of people get all they think they need from Internet sermons nowadays. He counters this with 3 Scriptures – Genesis 2:18 where God said it s not good for man to be alone; Mark 6:7 where Jesus trained the disciples and sent them out two by two; and Hebrews 10:25 where we are reminded that the assembling of ourselves together with other saints helps us remember that we are not alone in our walk or in our ministry.
The book goes back to basics, goes back to what the ministry of Jesus is – or should be – all about: Win souls; Reach the lost; Feed His sheep; Help those who backslide find their way home; Get people ready for Heaven.
It’s good to revisit that. Good to get a bit uncomfortable. I got uncomfortable reading this book. After years of service in our local churches, my husband & I split up (after he had a mental breakdown and had an affair). We both felt abandoned by the church – they didn’t know what to do with us.
The author says that church is meant to be ‘a hospital for the sick’ so they can then minister to others. I’ve been sick too long. Weary from my labour for too long. I need to get back to a church to get healed so I can stop focusing on myself and my own needs and start focusing on the needs of others. I liked the idea that there are levels of growth in the church that we should progress through and that many people can get stuck (I did). There is a lot of advice, too, on how to become the sort of Christian that Jesus can use, one who is willing to serve – how to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc.
The book includes a suggested schedule of how to go and do God’s Word – a schedule that is both challenging and possible!
One last quote from the book: ‘…we can attend all the church services we want. Praise, sing, shout, pray, dance and shout Hallelujah all we want. But if we never allow ourselves to be used by God in one of these areas of ministry such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, helping strangers, ministering to prisoners or helping to care for widows and orphans, all those church services and sermons will mean absolutely nothing.’ I would encourage you to read this book. I’m very glad I did.
Review posted on Goodreads
BOOK: Welcome To Our Church
How welcoming is your welcome packet? It could be AMAZING if you read this!
Church welcome packets vary from a notice sheet shoved in your hand as you’re ushered to a lonely pew at the front of the church, to a packed goodie bag of the sort usually enjoyed by children at birthday parties.
My fiancé and I have joined an ailing church with an aging congregation and we’re doing our best to help draw new members.
I had read Keith’s book, ‘Church On Sunday, Nothing On Monday’, and was impressed with his writing and heart for God, so I was delighted to see he had also written this book. He suggests establishing a New Members Ministry and give them the task of creating a welcome packet and curriculum for new members. He makes it clear that we need to understand how new members, visitors to church, feel. They are generally nervous, often cautious. They need to be handled with care.
There are pages of suggestions of what to put in a welcome packet, section by section. Tips are included in each section, for members, ministry, tithing, offering, etc. There is a very moving, personal section on funerals which, if acted on, would make a difficult time easier for bereaved members of the congregation.
There is an excellent emphasis on using creativity and talent from the other members of the team.
There are fantastic suggestions of what NOT to do when assembling a welcome packet (we’ve all seen them!).
The thing that had the most effect on me was the newsletter section. The tip from that is: ‘Over 15 years, I’ve served two churches. Neither published a newsletter. Neither was active in the community. One didn’t even know the neighbors. The other knew ‘some’ neighbors and made attempts to interact with the community. But without a newsletter or postcard with a website URL, neighbors a block away didn’t know the church existed.'
My ailing church doesn’t have a newsletter. Neighbors don’t know about the coffee mornings, jigsaw group, dancing group, car team (to take people to hospital appointments, etc.) or other activities. I’m going to volunteer for the New Members group!
The second part of the book contains templates (which can also be downloaded in Pagemaker or PDF format – worth the price of the book just for these!) to use for assembling the various pages of the welcome packet.
There is also an innovative and comprehensive section on how to ‘go digital’ and use DVDs as a ministry – both for containing the member's welcome packet in digital format, and for including videos of sermons, ministry in action and more.
New members are vital to the life and mission of the local church. As the book says, new members bring other members.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It is suitable for churches of all types and denominations, for leaders, lay and ‘pew-warmers’!
Review posted on Goodreads, Amazon
BOOK: Success After Setback
Everyone goes through something. And oftentimes it is a setback. This book is both timely, and testimonial. It's a fantastic teaching tool, and it's even better coming from someone who's been through the fire and back, more than just a few times. I was Blessed to read just the intro and first couple of chapters, but look forward to seeing more of the inspirational testimony, learning more about the author, and seeing many more of his books!
Review posted on SuccessAfterSetback.com
BOOK: Sunday School Teachers A to Z
I like the premise and purpose of this book. The goal is to equip those who minister to others to do that better. The purpose is to educate the reader on being a better Sunday School teacher. Against that backdrop though, the book is clear that we are all still learning even as we seek to teach others. In the preface to the book, the author writes:
“If God waited on people to become perfect before He anointed them to preach, teach, lead or minister, there would never be anyone worthy, and the work would never get done. God uses willing vessels, with weaknesses, so His strength, power, and anointing, can shine through, and He can get the glory!”
The introduction to the book provides a concise summary of the goals and purposes of the book:
This book provides dynamic step-by-step training for Sunday school teachers. Outlines goals, duties, attendance, class policies and procedures, lesson plan tips, info for regular and substitute teachers, class structure, required skills, teacher training, basics of student recruitment, and has 40 simple guidelines to follow such as ‘don’t assume your students can read’. Every teacher should have these fundamentals of teaching contained in Sunday School Teachers A to Z.
What I Liked?
The book is laid out nicely as it works through the ABCs of what Sunday School teachers need to know.
The author clearly rebuke the notion that you should do things the way they have always been done. He writes:
"The stronghold that tradition has over the lives of both teachers and students at some churches, in my opinion, should be broken."
Whether it is teaching the same wrong information because that’s the way it’s always been taught or continuing to use the same methods over and over and over and over, I agree wholeheartedly with the author on this.
The book always provides many useful exhortations to the teachers which should seem like common sense, but unfortunately are not always. These include:
· It is vitally important that you study lessons “before you teach them.”
· Make it a habit to get the students to laugh at least once per lesson.
· Demonstrate, rather than explaining whenever possible.
· Oversimplified and affected speech will hurt your students in the long run.
· Laugh at yourself sometimes.
· One of the most important things to remember is that, It’s not about you.
The author does draw attention in one part of the book to the changes in kids’ families. He reminds Sunday School teachers that:
"If you’re dealing with youth as your students, regardless of age, let me remind you that things have most likely changed since you grew up. Two parent homes are no longer common. Living in a shelter during the week and coming to your Sunday school class is likely. So I want to remind you that every one of your students is going through something before they come to your class. So give them the opportunity to speak, then you take time to listen. It is within this framework that you will help them grow and learn how to cope."
Given my work with Divorce Ministry 4 Kids and I Am A Child of Divorce, I am acutely aware of the issues kids face at home. Unfortunately, many people are not, and I truly appreciate the author’s effort to make Sunday School teachers aware of this important issue.
Children's Ministry Leader
Review posted on various sites.
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