the shape of leadership

Three Books for Ministry Leaders

Recommendations to round out your reading list

Influence Magazine on September 6, 2019

Discipling in a Multicultural World

Ajith Fernando (Crossway)

In Discipling in a Multicultural World, Ajith Fernando outlines “biblical principles about discipling” and presents “examples about how they apply in daily life and ministry.” Fernando uses the metaphor of “spiritual parenting” to describe discipleship. The majority of his book examines what the Bible says about three kinds of transformation — of beliefs, experiences and behaviors. Throughout, Fernando highlights the roles of Scripture, prayer, the discernment of right and wrong, and the experience of healing in the discipleship process. This book is the fruit of mature biblical reflection and decades of practical ministry experience.


Keys to the Apostolic and Prophetic

Joseph S. Girdler and Carolyn Tennant (Meadow Stream)

“The apostolic and prophetic are God-given roles to strengthen, train, and help bring the Church to maturity and wholeness,” write Joseph S. Girdler and Carolyn Tennant. Unfortunately, because of abuses of these two spiritual gifts, many Pentecostals downplay their importance. The correct response to abuse is not disuse, however, but proper use. Keys to the Apostolic and Prophetic focuses on the spiritual purpose and healthy functioning of these gifts in the life of the local church and lives of individual believers. In an age of self-appointed “apostles” and “prophets,” it emphasizes the importance of Christ-centeredness and moral character.


When to Walk Away

Gary Thomas (Zondervan)

The Church’s mission, like its Savior’s, is “to seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Christian ministry, therefore, requires serving difficult people. Difficult does not mean toxic, however. In When to Walk Away, Gary Thomas defines “toxic people” as those with one or more of three characteristics: “a murderous spirit, a controlling nature, and a heart that loves hate.” Thomas shows when and how to “walk away” from such people. He writes: “Sometimes to follow in the footsteps of Jesus is to walk away from others or let them walk away from us.”


This article originally appeared in the September/October 2019 edition of Influence magazine.

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