Skip to content

Philip E. Morrison

Seven Surprises for the Pastor

And the Core Ministry Values Behind Them

Seven Surprises for the Pastor is an adaptation of the Havard Business Review article entitled Seven Surprises for New CEOs by Michael E. Porter, Jay W. Lorsch, and Nitin Nohria.

In this booklet, Morrison has applied the thesis that nothing really prepares a person to be the chief executive officer (CEO) in a company, to the work of the pastor in the church.


In October 2004 the Harvard Business Review published an article entitled Seven Surprises for New CEOs by Michael E. Porter, Jay W. Lorsch, and Nitin Nohria. Their thesis was that nothing really prepares a person to be the chief executive officer (CEO) in a company. The seven surprises were:

  1. You can't run the company.
  2. Giving orders is costly.
  3. It's hard to know what's really going on.
  4. You're always sending a message.
  5. You're not the boss.
  6. Pleasing shareholders is not the goal.
  7. You're still only human.
  8. In many ways nothing really prepares a person to be a pastor either‚ educationally or experience-wise. Bible college and seminary helps. Books can help. Seminars can help. But some things a pastor must learn by experience. A lot of ministry skills are learned while on the job. However, training can alert him to some of the issues that can hinder or harm his ministry. The issues that were raised by Porter, Lorsch, and Nohria have a lot of relevance to those in the pastoral ministry. In this booklet they have been adapted from the business world and applied to the work of the pastor in the church.

Philip E. Morrison moved to Kenya 25 years ago. As a lecturer at Moffat Bible College, he became passionate about equipping under-resourced pastors who are responsible for multiple congregations. As a result, he founded The Multi-Church Pastor Institute to mentor and train these pastors. He is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Africa International University and currently serves with Africa Inland Mission as a Theological Education Consultant. He is the author of other books, including The Multi-Church Pastor, Questions Pastors Ask, and Conflict Resolution in the Church.

Share on Social Media

Sign up for our newsletter

Site Designed and Developed by 5by5 - A Change Agency