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The Five Smooth Stones: Essential Principles for Biblical Ministry
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The Five Smooth Stones: Essential Principles for Biblical Ministry


B&H 2007

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


University president Robertson McQuilkin, bemused by the constant rising and falling of new methodologies when he began a career in ministry over 50 years ago, has committed since then to a core group of enduring ministry principles that he calls “the five smooth stones.” These principles are:

  • The Bible
    Making it the functional authority
  • The Congregation
    Aligning it with the biblical purposes
  • The Spirit
    Releasing his energizing power
  • The Plan of Redemption
    The mission of every disciple
  • The Lord Jesus
    Model of servant leadership

While that outline may seem very obvious, one must ask why so many churches and other ministries fail somewhere along the way. Could it be a simple lack of commitment to relentlessly measure every effort by these key standards?

McQuilkin has witnessed the success of his method through five decades of dynamic service, from church planting to foreign missions to the academic arena. The Five Smooth Stones is his invitation to join in the deep reflection, honest evaluation, and courageous integration of each principle in order to bless every aspect of your ministry.

With the Logos edition of The Five Smooth Stones, you get easy access to Scripture and to a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Hovering over Scripture references links you instantly to the verse you’re looking for, and with Logos’ advanced features, you can delve into your study like never before!

Key Features

  • Examines five essential principles for ministry
  • Provides introductory Scripture references for each chapter
  • Offers questions for reflection


  • Unit 1: The Bible—Making It the Functional Authority
    • Making the Bible the Functional Authority
    • Postmodernism
    • Therapeutic Theology
  • Unit 2: The Church—Aligning the Congregation with All of God’s Biblical Purposes
    • Worship
    • Make Disciples
    • Member Care
    • Pursue Welfare of the Community
  • Unit 3: The Holy Spirit—Releasing His Energizing Power
    • Defining Gifts
    • What the Gifts are Not
    • Discovering, Developing, Deploying, Desiring
    • Prayer Connection
  • Unit 4: The Plan of Redemption—The Mission of Every Disciple
    • Biblical Foundations of Mission
    • Two Locations, Two Vocations
    • New Paradigms of Mission
    • Prayer Support
    • Financial Support
  • The Lordship of Christ—Gauging Servant Leadership
    • Leadership
    • Leadership: Positive Role Model
    • Unity of the Congregation
    • Purity of the Congregation

Product Details

  • Title: The Five Smooth Stones: Essential Principles for Biblical Ministry
  • Author: Robertson McQuilkin
  • Publisher: B&H
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 240

About Robertson McQuilkin

Robertson McQuilkin is the president emeritus of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina. His previous books include Understanding and Applying the Bible, Life in the Spirit, and A Promise Kept.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition