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Never Call Them Jerks

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  11 reviews
No church is immune to the problems that can arise when parishioners behave in difficult ways. Responding to such situations with self-awareness and in a manner true to one's faith tradition makes the difference between peace and disaster. In this must-read book, Boers shows how a better understanding of difficult behavior can help congregational leaders avoid the trap of ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published April 28th 2013 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (first published January 1st 1999)
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Al Gritten
Nov 18, 2010 rated it liked it
First, let me say that I am not a big fan of systems theory. That is not to say that I don't think it is accurate, it is. I just don't like the study of systems, it is just not my particular thing. However, as far as books on systems theory go, I have to say that this is one of the better ones I've read. The first few chapters are a bit slow and somewhat repetitive if you are familiar with family systems theories and their applications (Steinke and Leas, for example). But the last half of the bo ...more
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is my second time reading Boer's book on difficult behavior which is, in my opinion, one of the better book on dealing with difficult behavior out there. While it is written from the point of a view of a pastor, as a Christian teacher, I have found in both my readings that there is so much that is useful that it has repaid me the effort of translating its suggestions into my own life. I particularly like the suggestion that we avoid attaching hostile labels on people who are difficult and t ...more
Robert Lowry
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I’ve read this book at least 20 times. If you are in ministry or not, it is a must read.
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
The right of the laity to whinge, micturate, moan and kvetch about their clergy is very old (Exodus 14-16; Numbers 11; Joshua 9:18; Acts 6:1; Jude 1:16, 18-19) and shall not be abridged by any church authority who wishes to remain in office. Like atomic radiation, there is a certain constant background level of murmuring, grumbling, mocking and doubting the clergy. There is an impolite and sexist expression among those in the nautical branches of military service: "A bitching sailor is a happy s ...more
Mar 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Essential church leader read. Absolutely essential.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Great easy read on family systems and how it applies to church leadership and church dynamics. A good starter book for those not ready for Edwin Friedman's Generations to Generations which is quoted extensively. ...more
Jul 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A slim paperback which concisely describes the many reasons so many Christians find it difficult to handle conflict well and suggests many ways to handle conflict better.
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Various leaders at my church all read this book. It helped spawn some good discussion of things we need to do.
Tom Buratovich
May 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Just a wonderful book about reconciliation and how being negative, mean, and violent to another is a boomerang process that whacks you in the head with all that you are dishing out.
Craig Cottongim
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read this on the flight home from Chicago, a quick read, filled with great info.
Jul 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Re-read this and found it helpful. Boers writes from a family systems framework and is concise. It's a quick read to refresh one's memory on handling conflict or communication issues. ...more
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Arthur Paul Boers is Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana. He is an ordained Mennonite minister and Benedictine oblate. He served for over sixteen years as a pastor in rural, urban, and church-planting settings in the USA and Canada.

Boers is an author. His newest book is The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de

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