the shape of leadership

Three Leadership Books for February

Hone your leadership skills, and expand your influence

Influence Magazine on February 6, 2018

Because Influence magazine aims to empower the entire spectrum of church leadership, from lead pastor to lead volunteer, we do our best to keep track of new and interesting books about leadership. Here are our February recommendations:

Paul and His Team, by Ryan Lokkesmoe (Moody)

Ryan Lokkesmoe is the lead pastor of Real Hope Community Church in suburban Houston, and has a Ph.D. in New Testament studies. In Paul and His Team: What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence, Lokkesmoe brings his pastoral and academic experiences into fruitful dialogue about what the apostle Paul teaches concerning influencing others for the sake of the gospel.

“Many leadership books address the mechanics of leadership and primarily focus on what and how questions,” Lokkesmoe writes. “This book will be more concerned with who and why questions. Who are we as influencers, and why do we lead the way we do?”

Among the leadership traits of Paul and his team that stand out most are these:
(1) “Their singular focus was Christ.”
(2) “They treated others as equals.”
(3) “They were agents of reconciliation.”

Paul and His Team is a good reminder that “our leadership within the church should always have that distinctive tone and posture when compared to any other leadership context.”

Developing the Leader Within You 2.0, by John Maxwell (Thomas Nelson)

John Maxwell first published Developing the Leader within You in 1992, when he was pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego. (He has since gone on to become a New York Times bestselling author and leadership expert.)

The book chronicled the lessons about leadership Maxwell had learned to that point in nearly 25 years of ministry and memorably defined leadership as “influence.” Now, in time for its 25th anniversary, Maxwell has extensively revised this volume for a new generation of leaders.

“My goal with this book,” he writes, “is to help you understand how influence works, and use it as the starting point for learning how to lead more effectively.”

Succeeding chapters examine priorities, character, change, problem solving, attitude, a heart of service, vision, self-discipline, and personal growth.

Developing the Leader within You 2.0 is an updated classic still worth reading.

The Top 10 Leadership Conversations in the Bible, by Steve Moore (NexLeader)

Steve Moore aims “to stimulate [readers’] passion to engage the Bible as a primary source for leadership insight.” To do that, Moore studied 1,090 “leadership conversations” in the Bible, focusing on three elements: “the leader, the followers, and the situation.”

Moore then lists “the ten most important leadership conversations” as they appear in the Bible’s canonical order: favor, perspective, change, failure, burden, worship, risk, humility, mobilization and judgment.

By studying these conversations, Moore hopes the reader will take greater steps to becoming a Bible-centered leader, “whose leadership is informed by the Bible, and who has been personally shaped by biblical leadership values, who has grasped the intent of Scriptural books and their content in such a way as to apply them to current situations and who uses the Bible in ministry so as to impact followers.” (This is Bobby Clinton’s definition, which Moore quotes and endorses.)

The Top 10 Leadership Conversations in the Bible is an engaging book that will repay thoughtful reading.

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