Win a Free Copy of Steering Through Chaos by @ScottWilson7, @Zondervan

Today I’m reviewing, discussing and giving away a free copy of Scott Wilson’s new book Steering Through Chaos.  Keep reading to learn how to win a copy for yourself.

In Steering Through Chaos: Mapping Clear Direction for Your Church in the Midst of Transition and Change, Scott Wilson, senior pastor of the Oaks Fellowship in Dallas, TX provides guidance for pastors and church leaders on how to navigation transitions.  In the first chapter Wilson explains that transition and change are necessary to follow God’s calling for a church.  Each of the nine subsequent chapter constitutes a key element in navigating transition.

1.    Crystal-clear vision
2.    Timing change for growth
3.    Authentic communication
4.    Corporate prayer
5.    Recognizing opportunities and avoiding obstacles
6.    Celebrating victories
7.    Finding great coach
8.    Keeping the vision fresh
9.    Endurance

If a church is going to grow, it is going to have to make some difficult transition.  Steering through Chaos doesn’t go into strategies or techniques for church growth, but rather provides excellent insight into God’s character and how people respond to change to help pastors and church leaders make difficult transitions successfully.

Favorite Quotes

  • Your church will grow only to the level of your pain threshold. – Gerald Brooks (P 22)
  • We are like drivers on a winding road in the night.  Our headlights show just enough for us to make the next decision. – J.I. Packer (P 33)
  • Vision isn’t something I determine – it’s something I discover as I walk with God day after day. (P 52)
  • Every time you say yes to something else, you’re effectively saying no to me. – God (P 55)
  • Waiting until the church begins to decline may be safer but it forfeits time and momentum. (P 64)
  • Vision is rock solid; strategy is flexible. (P 71)
  • People aren’t here to help me fulfill the vision.  They are the vision! (P 77)
  • 20% of leadership is making the right decisions.  80% is appropriately communicating those decisions. – Tim Stevens (P 83)
  • The condition of the church may be very accurately gauged by its prayer meetings. Charles Spurgeon (P 101)
  • Gifted leaders in any field have the ability to see open doors where others only see walls. (P123)
  • I’m seldom worried or upset if someone tries and fails.  I’m only really concerned if I don’t see any effort or creativity. (P 133)
  • Celebration says, “That vision is becoming a reality!” It generates tremendous momentum and ultimately fosters and even higher and clearer vision of the future because each moment of celebration intuitively tells people, “God has done it once, and he can do it again.” (P 147)
  • Let’s learn to help each other tell great stories… specific, meaningful, short, personal, fit with your vision and values. (P 151-2)
  • The greatest leaders of all time (Moses, Joshua, David, and the rest) lived in ambiguity.  The difference is hat they accepted their situation and trusted God to give them hope and help I his timing. (P 188)
  • Poor communication leads to heightened frustration and fear because it fails to manage the expectations of others. (P 190)

Personal Thoughts

There were a number of important lessons in Steering through Chaos for me.  Perhaps the most important was that God provides a clear vision for each church in his own timing.  This has several implications.

  • It’s not up to the senior pastor or others to develop the vision.  Their job is to listen to God and discover His vision for the church.
  • God will not send mixed messages.  If church leaders are listening to God, he will make the same vision clear to all of them.
  • If church leaders are genuinely seeking God for a clear vision and He is not providing one, this doesn’t mean the leaders are bad leaders.  It may mean God is testing the leaders to wait and trust him.

The second area where I had a lot of take-aways was related to communication.

  • One-on-one communication with key leaders is critical.
  • Cascading the casting of vision from the top down is important.
  • Providing regular, authentic communication about progress is essential.
  • Celebrating along the way is critical.


  • How did the current vision for your church come about?
  • How did you communicate that vision to church leaders, volunteers, and the congregation?
  • How have you continued to communicate & celebrate progress as your church moved towards the fulfillment of that vision?

Get a Free Book

If you’d like a free copy of Steering Through Chaos, all you have to do is

  1. Retweet this post or share it on Facebook, and
  2. Post a meaningful comment to this post that contributes to the conversation (include your Facebook or Twitter usename in your comment so I can connect your comment to your share/tweet).

One person will be randomly selected the morning of Wednesday 3/17 to receive a free copy of Steering Through Chaos.

18 Responses to “Win a Free Copy of Steering Through Chaos by @ScottWilson7, @Zondervan”

  1. We are moving in on our 5th birthday in September. Will be in a new building sometime early summer, in partnership with a charter school. And will be kicking off a new family service (ie kids stuff) the week following Easter. I resonate with all of the comments, and almost shuttered when I heard that the average length of a pastor is 18 months following a building campaign. There is a real dance to vision, change, and follow through, without burning out.

    I have learned so much since launch Sunday, but the stakes get higher as you continue to move forward. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it!

    I am planning on buying this book for my leadership team today.

  2. Wow, Rusty! You guys are going through a lot of change. I think you and your staff will benefit greatly by reading through & discussing the book together. It’s not only got great insight that will help you make the transitions better, but it will also inspire and encourage you as you do so.

    Props to you, Rusty, for having the courage to be obedient to pursue such a big vision. I know that God will bless you, your staff, and your church as you follow Him.

  3. As a church planter I am finding myself facing chaos. We are looking to purchase our first building. We are developing leaders. However, there is chaos to navigate as some people do not share the vision because we are growing and moving to the next level. I am eager to learn more about leading through the chaos that surrounds change. I want to see God mature our church and help us to be more impactful in our community.

  4. Our church is entering into it’s sixth year and is in the midst of serious chaos. Our EP just left to plant his own church and his absence has left a huge void on our staff and in our congregation; the remaining staff have had to take on new responsibilities until we can get another full-time EP; we’re a mobile church that been forced to find a new location to house our 2500 members due to upcoming construction at our current location–not the easiest thing to do. And with five upcoming Easter services, Spring Break mission trips, and regular ministry activities, it feel like we’re losing focus on the vision/mission of the church because we’re just trying to make church happen each week. This book looks like it might offer me and the rest of the members of our staff some much needed guidance through our chaos.

    • Wow, yeah, I’d say you’re in the midst of chaos. I just prayed for you and your church, Karen. As I did another quote from the book came to mind…

      The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. – Thomas Paine

      May God be the source of your strength & may He be glorified as you follow his lead through what may seem like impossible circumstances.

  5. Last year our seven-year old church stepped back from doing ministry to really evaluate how effective we were at what we were called to do. An honest assessment revealed that we were not doing as well as we had hoped. So we changed everything. We narrowed our focus, stopped ministries that weren’t effective and even re-worded our vision statement. We also revamped our ENTIRE Life Group strategy and then to top it all off we moved into a new temporary facility at the end of the year. As 2010 is underway we are looking at launching a second campus and breaking ground on our first permanent facility. We also changed our church management software and updated our website which meant a lot of change for our church family. Effectively navigatiely everyone through all of these changes has been challenging and I know the changes to come will present their own unique set of challenges. But in the midst of it all, it is very exciting because we know we are doing what God wants us to do. This was a great post and I shared the link with our staff so they could read it too. Thanks for sharing.

    • Makeda, didn’t know you guys had so much going on at your church. Thanks for sharing the link. If you found the post helpful, you’ll probably find the book itself even more helpful. 🙂

  6. I have been hearing good thing after good thing about this book and have been very curious to see what it is all about. After seeing the promo video of Pastor Scott discussing his purpose in writing the book, I am so inspired!! I am a young man training for pastoral ministry and am on the search for great resources to use and refer to in order to further prepare for a life in ministry. I have read some of the commentary concerning the book and I definitely want this book as one of my resources!! This book seems like a great resource for young pastors, those just beginning or going into ministry, or any pastor dealing with change and transition in their church.

    Twitter: RobbinsBrandon

  7. Our 100+ year-old church is changing its name (something we’ve been talking about for 25 years) and other changes need to be made. There have been several staff changes and, being in the county that ranks consistently in the top three in the nation for foreclosures, our budget is less than stable. Turbulence is not unique to us, obviously, but our staff can use some extra guidance this year.

    It’s hard to pick out the most important chapter from the list because they all seem important, but I think that corporate prayer and authentic communication are crucial. That’s the only way to confirm that the vision is from God – your point about God not sending mixed messages is right, so if the staff isn’t praying together and talking honestly without politics or personal preferences, then they’ll be hard pressed to have a unified vision and direction.

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  8. Congrats to Makeda who will receive the free copy of Steering Through Chaos! I think you’ll find a lot of great insight that will be valuable as you help your church navigate several transitions.

    Thanks to Zonervan for providing the books.

    Thanks to everyone else who tweeted, shared, and commented. I hope you’ll buy a copy of Steering Through Chaos for yourself and return here to discuss the book some more.

  9. Wow! I almost never win anything. I am very excited because I think this book will provide a lot of great insight for our church. I will definitely share my thoughts as I make my way through it. Thank You!!!!!

  10. pls i will like to have a copy free. you can send it to TAYO JOHNSON, P.O.BOX 2502, AKURE, ONDO STATE. THANKS.


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