Influence

 the shape of leadership

Three Books for Church Leaders

Recommended reading

Influence Magazine on May 11, 2020

WHEN NARCISSISM COMES TO CHURCH

Chuck DeGroat (IVP)
“Narcissistic pastors are anxious and insecure shepherds who do not lead the sheep to still waters but into hurricane winds,” writes Christian psychologist Chuck DeGroat. In this book, DeGroat draws on his extensive counseling experience and academic research to illuminate narcissism in all its variety, demonstrate its negative effects on both church members and church systems, and outline a plan for healing its victims, including the narcissists themselves. The good news? The “radically humble, self-giving way” of Jesus Christ.

HOW TO MAKE BIG DECISIONS WISELY

Alan Ehler (Zondervan)
“Big decisions shape the course of life,” writes Alan Ehler. The question is how well you’re making those decisions. In this book, Ehler introduces Story Shaping, a four-step model useful for making personal and organizational decisions, as well as for resolving conflict. The four steps are: 1) read the backstory; 2) catch God’s story; 3) craft a new story; and 4) tell the new story. It is “a prayerful process integrating Scripture, theological reflection, and skills derived from decision science and neuroscience.”

THE MOTIVE

Patrick Lencioni (Wiley)
In this book, Patrick Lencioni tells a fable about two CEOs, which identifies two motives for leadership. Reward-centered leadership believes that “being a leader is the reward for hard work; therefore, the experience of being a leader should be pleasant and enjoyable.” By contrast, responsibility-centered leadership believes that “being a leader is a responsibility; therefore, the experience of leading should be difficult and challenging.” Although written for business leaders, this book has multiple applications for pastors and other church leaders too.

This article originally appeared in the May/June 2020 edition of Influence magazine.

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