February 2022 Resource

Normalizing Next
Normalizing Next: A Post-Covid-19 Resource for Church Leaders


Olu Brown


Culverhouse, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia

Book Review By:

Melvin Amerson

Premise of the book:
Leaders and congregations willing and open to continual learning and change are prepared to pivot and thrive during challenging times.

What this book does:
Normalizing Next
is a great resource for clergy and laity who want to prepare their congregation to be nimble and flexible to meet challenges and needed changes, to adapt to life during Covid-19 and beyond. Rev. Olu Brown shares from a wealth of experience as a pastor, coach, and consultant. He writes in a conversational manner, which helps readers embrace content on many levels. Throughout this book, the author guides one through essential components of leadership, team building, and collaboration. Moreover, Normalizing Next covers areas of ministry from spirituality, leadership concepts, and practices consistent with effective, thriving congregations.


1. Next
2. Vision
3. Leadership
4. Technology
5. Simple-3 Steps or Less
6. Hybrid Worship
7. Powerful and Prophetic Preaching
8. Raising Generosity

What are some important insights:

Insights are found from visioning, leadership, and practical areas of ministry. “Whenever churches and church leaders get crystal clear on the vision, the outcome is people who are attracted to the vision and provide their support through their time, talents, and treasure.” (p. 31)

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
This is an excellent resource for clergy and laity of small and large congregations, who want to remain relevant to their members and the communities they serve.

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.