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Growing Kingdom Character: Practical, Intentional Tools for Developing Leaders
NAV Press / 2011 / Paperback
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We've all seen it before--experienced leaders failing due to some type of transgression. Author Tom Yeakley believes this happens because character flaws that were always present begin to come forward.Based on his 30-plus years of discipleship and coaching experience, Yeakley has developed Building Kingdom Character to help current leaders challenge emerging leaders to intentionally developing their character.Teaching, exercises, and Bible study make this practical handbook a must-have for those involved in mentoring young leaders. The fruit will be integrity, maturity, and wisdom in a new generation of leaders.
What do we look for in a potential leader in the church? Do we seek people with skills and abilities that will benefit our congregation? Do we invest power and leadership authority in someone who has financial resources to benefit our institution? Or do we simply seek a warm body to fill a leadership position that it was preordained that our congregation needed to have?
Tom Yeakley argues that biblical leadership begins with godly character. In Growing Kingdom Character Yeakley creates a resource to develop Christian character in potential Christian leaders. Growing Kingdom Character is a thorough, well-thought-out curriculum book that has the potential to be a great support for churches and Christian organizations of all sizes.
Yeakley's discipleship philosophy is based upon a leadership "triangle" (20-21). At the base of that triangle are foundational character qualities (love, integrity, humility, and servanthood). Then the supporting qualities of faith, patience, purity, self-control, teachability, and courage build upon those foundational character qualities. After establishing these clear character qualities, one can work on developing skills and abilities that allow leaders to lead with godliness and integrity.
Each chapter in Growing Kingdom Character has a text, a Bible study, a prayer guide, and some exercises to help each participant in the study build kingdom character into their lives. The text is brief enough for a weekly study. The Bible study is thorough and will take considerable effort for participants to read through. The prayer and exercises are well done, and offer a lot of opportunity for growth and discussion as well.
I found Yeakley's book refreshing. When one looks at the qualifications for leaders in the Pastoral Epistles, most of the job descriptions have to do with character qualities and not leadership skills. Our society tends to value image over substance, and many times churches have followed society's standards. Growing Kingdom Character provides a prophetic challenge in this context.
This book will not be a helpful resource for everyone. It requires a committed individual or small group of potential leaders, led by a quality mentor who embodies the Christian character this fine book teaches about. In that specific context, Growing Kingdom Character has the ability to change lives, churches, organizations, and maybe even the world. Clint Walker, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
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