We should trust the Bible, says Timothy Paul Jones, because it is ‘grounded in the words of a man who died and rose again’ (p.111). Jones’s basic presupposition is this: ‘If we live in a world where it is possible…
- Publisher: IVP
- ISBN: 978-1-84474-544-9
- Pages: 216
- Price: 8.99
Fruitful Leaders – How to make, grow, love and keep them
Star Rating: 2
As a pastor and therefore at least one sort of ‘leader’ I warmed to the sub-title of this book which promises to tell us not only how to make and grow leaders but how to love them and keep them as well. That appealed to me.
The first question however that arises is: what is a leader? The author uses examples of leaders called Karen and Sarah as well as John or David, but then we read that ‘we’ (leaders) ‘work as God’s undershepherds’ and that ‘leadership is a noble task’ (1 Tim 3:1). Either Karen and Sarah are presumably, therefore, elders, or no distinctions are being made between different spheres of leadership in the church.
We are told that the main task of leadership is to work with people for their progress and joy in God (see Phil 1:25,26). This is certainly an important principle, but made into an over-riding goal one can imagine it distorting some situations, such as the pain that leadership sometimes has to inflict (even with joy as the ultimate goal), as in Galatia or Corinth.
Advice is given on caring for yourself as a spiritual leader and on how to develop a hunger for God, but it is difficult to see much in this that would not be applicable to any Christian.
We are all to be seekers and makers of leaders and appropriate instruction is given. The congregation is taught to care for its leaders, and leaders for themselves, with advice including mentors and accountability partners and groups. ‘Leadership killers’ are identified and suggestions made as to how to avoid them.
This is very much a ‘how-to’ book, which is not wrong in itself, but the weakness is the lack of carefully laid biblical foundations. It has several useful hints and suggestions but is not compelling as a whole. There are better books on leadership.