Intelligent Reading for Intelligent Leadership
Three books recommended for ministry influencers
Preaching with Cultural Intelligence
Matthew D. Kim (Baker Academic)
America is increasingly diverse, and so are American churches. Matthew D. Kim wants “to prepare twenty-first-century preachers for the realities of congregational diversity in North America and beyond.” To do so, he outlines a “homiletical template” to help preachers more effectively take into account their communities’ diversity in their preaching. He focuses specifically on diversity of denominations, ethnicities, genders, locations and religions. Preaching with Cultural Intelligence is a must-read for preachers who want to effectively minister to people different from themselves.
Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders
Aubrey Malphurs (Baker Books)
Aubrey Malphurs believes that emotional immaturity dooms ministry teams to failure. The purpose of Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders is to raise their “emotional intelligence” and thus contribute to their effectiveness. Toward that end, he proposes a “model” of emotional intelligence that takes into account four skills: “emotional self-awareness, emotional self-management, understanding others’ emotions, and others’ emotional management.” This biblically grounded, scientifically informed book is a good reminder that “how you feel impacts how you lead, and how followers feel when around and led by you affects how well they will follow your leadership.”
Gordon T. Smith (IVP Academic)
“Institutions matter,” writes Gordon T. Smith. “Vibrant institutions — effective organizations — are essential to our personal lives and to the common good.” Institutional Intelligence identifies seven elements of such organizations: mission clarity, appropriate governance, quality personnel, vibrant culture, financial resilience, generative built spaces, and strategic alliances. Smith shows Christian leaders how to implement these elements in their organizations. In a day when public trust in institutions, including churches, is low, this book offers a hopeful, helpful view of trustworthy institutions that contribute to human flourishing.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2018 edition of Influence magazine.