This is a book that might well be used by both leadership trainers and trainees. Beginning with the model leader, Jesus himself, the author shows how he trained by example. He never demanded of his followers what he himself was not prepared to do and to be.
Several examples of leaders, especially in Africa and Asia, who have followed Jesus’ style of training are cited to show Jesus’ way is not beyond us. It stands as a challenge to Western-style ministerial training which tends to focus more on academics and abstract theology than actual hands-on ministry to a needy world.
Peter, restored and transformed by the Master, is examined next. This chapter exposes many popular misconceptions about leadership and leader training.
Paul’s leadership style is examined. From his writings to the Corinthians, he is seen to have been flexible and versatile in coping with all the demands of those he sought to lead; there was no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. Paul’s character traits are also considered, revealing what helped him succeed.
Luke’s writings are used to show that the early churches could readily identify their leaders by observing them in action. Their ministries were so identifiably supernatural that it was clear God had raised them up for a particular ministry. The characteristics of these leaders are also examined and shown to match those exemplified by our Lord and Paul.
Many readers may disagree with Green’s view of women in church leadership. But he is honest and thought provoking. He fears the ‘feminisation’ of the church has put men off. He identifies many inconsistencies in current practice, suggests several faulty assumptions often made and finishes by carefully examining relevant texts.
The book gives an overview of Paul’s instructions to the early church in the latter days of his ministry. As he hands over the baton, Paul’s concerns (as ours) are shown to be in the area of faithfulness to the apostolic word, fleshed out especially by purity in the areas of sexuality and marriage.
Finally, by way of application, the book calls for a leadership which is first and foremost empowered by the Spirit and poured out on a plurality of interdependent, godly leaders rather than a top down, hierarchical structure — be it episcopal, congregational or Presbyterian.