Warren Bird on Editing Wisdom From Lyle Schaller

Other than Lyle Schaller, perhaps no other observer of churches over the past thirty years has better chronicled the changes and challenges facing pastors and church leaders than Warren Bird.  The author of more than 25 books and hundreds of articles, I cannot think of anyone more capable of compiling and editing the wisdom of Lyle Schaller than Bird. His work on the book was both a professional and personal opportunity that he treasured.  Recently, I asked Warren to reflect on his experience of editing/writing Wisdom from Lyle Schaller. Here is some of his response.

CC:  If a pastor is not familiar with Schaller’s work or has had little exposure to his work, where would you encourage them to begin?  What would be the first one or two books you would recommend and why?

WB:  Sadly I’ve talked with a host of younger pastors who have never read anything by Schaller. Some have not heard the name Lyle Schaller. Hopefully my book will hook them on the value of investing some time to read him first-hand. Ideally, church planters will read one of his books on church planting, those in plateaued churches will read one of his titles on passive or turnaround churches, and those in growing situations will read one of his books on growth that is appropriate for their church’s size. Strategies for Change or in some cases, The Very Large Church should fit most every reader.

CC:  If What year is it? and What year will it be next year? are Schaller’s two most important question for pastors, what might be question #3

WB:  Other important questions found in The Interventionist would include: Why am I here? What is my role?  What can I affirm? Who are the allies? and  Am I dealing with symptoms or problems?

CC:  In the process of doing the book, what did you learn that was a “new” learning for you about Schaller and his work?

WB:  I learned a few of the secrets for how he could be so prolific. He had an incredible organization system of notecards and notebooks. He learned how to rework magazine articles into book chapters. He showed amazing ability to organize his time. Finally, he thought divergently which enabled him to glean insights from a wide range of fields that he bumped into across everyday life.


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