God loves local churches. He wants to see them built up and flourishing. He provides spiritual gifts of leadership to help them grow. Churches are God's teams for fulfilling his great purposes in the world, ensuring that his greatness and glory, and the good news of his grace, are received and rejoiced in everywhere. God wants to raise up leaders in your local church in all kinds of spheres and activities. But this book is for everyone, not just for leaders or potential leaders. In fact, the whole congregation should be asking how they can release those gifted by God to lead, to the fullest extent of their ability. This book is ideal for anyone asking whether God could use them as a leader in a home group, youth group, or indeed any other church activity. It will also offer fresh vision to existing leaders, and inspire those who are cultivating a fresh crop of new leaders.
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.