March 2019 Resource

Choosing the Faithful Path: A Biblical Study for Discerning a Faithful Future
Choosing the Faithful Path: A Biblical Study for Discerning a Faithful Future
Beth M. Crissman and Nancy B. Rankin
Book Review By:
Melvin Amerson

Premise of the Book:
Congregations must be willing to assess themselves and be willing to discern their ability, willingness and commitment to accepting their unique call and season of ministry in their respective communities.

What the Book Does:
“Choosing the Faithful Path” is an excellent resource for congregations who need to examine viability of their ministry and future. The authors designed each chapter to incorporate worship, scripture, prayer, Christian conferencing and Holy Communion. Further, this resource uses Wesleyan heritage and “The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church” as a guide to undergird the process. They employ an acronym for the process called S.O.A.P., which stands for: Subjective, Objective, Assessment, and Plan.


Introduction: Choosing the Faithful Path
Chapter One: Setting Clear Expectations
Part One: Assessing Ourselves
Chapter Two: How We Follow as Leaders
Chapter Three: At the Heart of Ministry
Chapter Four: Making Disciples who Make Disciples
Chapter Five: Serving Our Neighbors in Need
Part Two: Assessing Our Neighbors
Chapter Six: Who Are Our Neighbors?
Chapter Seven: Being the One Body of Christ
Part Three: Assessing Our Ability, Willingness, and Commitment
Chapter Eight: Choosing the Faithful Path
Part Four: Choosing the Faithful Path
Chapter Nine: Choosing to Re-Innovate
Chapter Ten: Choosing Transition to Legacy
Chapter Eleven: Committing with a Plan
A Service of Holy Communion
Worksheet for Survey of Neighboring Churches

What are the Important Insights:

The overall process developed by the authors is thorough, but not complex and could be facilitated by anyone. Part Three of the book, “Assessing Our Ability, Willingness, and Commitment” provides any congregation with questions and a process to see where energy and focus needs to be placed.

Possibilities as a resource for churches:
Persons who are interested in revitalizing or repurposing local churches will find this resource a valuable tool for assessment and planning for their ministry future.

Melvin Amerson Area Representative

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

Melvin 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. Currently, he serves as a board member of the Ecumenical Stewardship Center and is a nationally-recognized generosity consultant known for his engaging presentations.

Melvin obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, a Master of Divinity 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.