August 2022 Resource

The Art of Leading Change
The Art of Leading Change: Ten Perspectives on the Messiness of Ministry


Mike Bonem


Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN

Book Review By:

Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:
The practice of leading change starts by building trust, while focusing on understanding the people, culture, communication, and context of the people you are called to lead.

What this book does:
The Art of Leading Change
is an excellent resource for pastors or persons who are in the position of leading change. The author offers 10 Perspectives, which serve as guiding principles and practices for leadership, while attempting to guide a congregation or an organization into a new vision or paradigm. Author, Mike Bonem, shares from his vast experiences of facilitating groups and congregations through organizational and adaptive change. He also discusses group dynamics, family systems, and the importance and complexities of communications in any given context. Each chapter concludes with From Perspective to Practice.


Introduction - The Challenge of Change
Perspectives for Leading People Through Change
An Artists Perspective: Art is Messy
Perspective 1: Lead with Trust
Perspective 2: Dig Beneath the Surface
Perspective 3: Take the Right Next Step
Perspective 4: Heavy Loads Require Strong Teams
Perspective 5: You Can’t Please Everyone
Perspective 6: Resisters Are Not the Enemy
Perspective 7: Momentum Is Your Friend
Perspective 8: What They Heard, Not What You Said
Perspective 9: Who is Not in the Room?
Perspective 10 Look Up Before You Look Ahead
The Courage for Change

What are some important insights:
The author of this outstanding resource provides numerous insights and ideas on leading change, but his grasp of people and organizations are immense. “Understanding complex human and organizational dynamics will enable you to lead more effectively and move your church or ministry its God-given potential." (p. 1) “The art of leading change requires a leader to diligently pursue a vision while at the same time holding specific plans loosely and making adjustments along the way." (p. 56)

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is an excellent resource for clergy and persons who serve in leadership with a desire to effectively guide their congregation or organization through change or new ministry opportunities.

Melvin Amerson

The Rev. Melvin Amerson is a member of the Texas Annual Conference and serves as a Resource Specialist and Area Representative at TMF. His experience and passion lie in encouraging and developing generous, faithful leaders and congregations.

Amerson is the author of Celebrating the Offering, Fruit for Celebrating the Offering, and Stewardship in African American Churches: A New Paradigm, as well as several articles covering topics from generosity, leadership, and visioning. He served as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center until it was dissolved in 2021 and is currently serving on the Texas Annual Conference Church Leadership Team. He is a nationally recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations. Beyond strengthening congregational leaders, one of his favorite ways to use his skills is to empower Wesley Foundation staff to effectively fund their college ministries.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, an M.Div degree concentrating in Christian education from Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, an Executive Leadership certificate from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and a certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University. Recently, he completed a fundraising certificate with the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.