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Entering Wonderland

I'm excited to announce that my book Entering Wonderland is now available. Drawn from my experience as a pastor and coach, I offer tips and tools that really help. Order from Amazon now or email me if you'd like to know how to get a 25% discount order form - send to

Publisher's Description:

 The first year or so of a pastor's tenure in a new congregation is precarious; many pastors stay at a new congregation for fewer than five years. This handbook helps coach both experienced and new pastors to enter a new congregation effectively. Drawing from organizational systems leadership material in religious and secular worlds, it offers nearly 50 tips and tools designed to help new pastors analyze their congregation's system and then to lead leaders within the congregation to affect positive change.

Using imagery from Alice in Wonderland to clarify various archetypal roles within the church community, Harris provides concrete suggestions for facilitating communication and dealing with difficult behaviors within the congregation. He provides a coaching approach to ministry, in which the pastor reframes issues and asks provocative questions—a powerful strategy to maximize a new pastor’s chances for success.
Readers will find tools to help them uncover critical information about their new congregation regarding:

  • congregational norms, particularly regarding the office of pastor, conflict, and holy objects;
  • their history and sense of God's call;
  • the true leaders among the congregation;
  • mutual accountability.

Table of Contents

Part I. Entering Wonderland: The First Six Months
Chapter 1. What Do You See? Take a Close Look
Chapter 2. How Can I Really Get to Know Them? You Can’t Guess
Chapter 3. How Solid Is the Foundation? Assessing the Trust Level
Chapter 4. Who’s Leading around Here? Assessing Individual Leaders
Chapter 5. Assessing the Leadership—The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Chapter 6. What Size Is Your Church? Size Matters


Part II. Your Next Six Months (More or Less)
Chapter 7. What Have You Learned About Yourself? Gremlins and Boundaries
Chapter 8. Where Are We Headed? Assessing the Congregation’s Mission and Vision
Chapter 9. How’s Business? Leadership and Management
Chapter 10. How Do I Deal with Difficult Behavior? Perspectives and Suggestions
Chapter 11. What’s Next? Reviewing Your First Year and Looking Forward


Appendix A. Tips Arranged by Chapter
Appendix B. Tools Arranged by Chapter
Appendix C. Coaching Assignments Arranged by Chapter
Appendix D. Information about Coaching
Appendix E. Word/Share/Prayer Bible Studies
Appendix F. Sample Covenant of Behavior
Appendix G. Sample Mission and Vision Statements