Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every BelieverJ. Oswald SandersMoody Publishers / 2017 / Trade Paperback$10.99 Retail:5 Stars Out Of 5 6 Reviews
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yellowshaun5 Stars Out Of 5An exceptionally engaging and enriching readMarch 22, 2019yellowshaunQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This title provides for a refreshing, enriching and encouraging read. Sanders writes brilliantly - with clarity, insight and wisdom from being an elder statesman of theology. My guess is that it is a condensation of a lifetime of work - given the broad scope of topics and range of aptly chosen quotations from notable theologians sprinkled generously across the title (adding a welcome dose of added comprehension and intelligibility to oft theoretical propositions).
This is a masterpiece and wonderful labour of love - meticulously arranged and concise enough for readers to devour chapters at a time. Be careful not to rush though, as the material provides plenty of reflective opportunities. I especially appreciated the fine balance between brevity and depth - no extra ink was split in establishing the substantives of each chapter. Only in very rare segments of the book did I feel that more elaboration or illustrations would be rehired.
While I did not read the earlier editions of this title (and therefore cannot comment on the utility of editorial changes made), I found that the content highly comprehensible. I also note the effort (and added cost) to add a whiff of blue colour to the book. The contrast provided by the blue headings broke the monotony of otherwise black walls of text - I hope that more publishers would invest in such (seemingly) minor yet effective formatting decision. The unique texture of the book's cover is another nice touch - adding an element of durability and quality to a book that would invariably be lent to others.
I heartily recommend this title to all Christians (not just leaders) and give it the 6 stars it utterly deserves.
MikeAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Are you answering the call to spiritual leadership? This may be for you!December 17, 2018MikeAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Are you wondering if you have what it takes to lead? Or are you wondering if you still have what it takes to lead? As J. Oswald Sanders makes clear throughout this book, there is a lot involved in leadership, but even more-so in spiritual leadership. He writes, "It is not a calling we choose to pursue, but is it calling we choose to answer."
If any of these thoughts strike a chord with you, this book may well be a good resource to consider. In twenty-two chapters (206 pages), J. Oswald Sanders leads the reader through the highs and lows, ups and downs, joys and sorrows of what it means to be a spiritual leader.
Reading this book came at a particularly useful time for me, as I have recently embarked on answering the call to be the interim music director in our local congregation. In short order, many issues and small fires have already surfaced, and I have felt the burden of their increasing weight as these matters cannot continue to go ignored. So, I was encouraged in reading this book that I am not alone in these struggles, but have a good company and knowing that I can get through them all with the right mindsetand I may even come out the other side as a better leader as a result.
Sanders reminds the reader that:
sometimes leadership calls us to cut to the heart and render judgment in difficult situations, while other times decisions require patience and grace;
that it is no virtue to be disliked as a leader, but it is also dangerous to pursue being popular;
that a true leader humbly serves others and sets them up for success, while poor leaders pridefully promote themselves and their own needs;
that good leadership comes at a cost in the form of fatigue, loneliness, criticism, and rejection.
that all difficulties provide opportunities to reveal who the true leaders are.
While there are a plethora of very good books pertaining to leadership, this is one of the better books I've read on leadership in the church "Spiritual Leadership". I would highly suggest it to anyone who is considering answering the call to leadership, or to anyone currently in a leadership position who is struggling under its burdens.
No doubt about it, I give "Spiritual Leadership" 5 out of 5 stars!
Disclaimer: I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for my unbiased review of it. I was not required to provide a positive review. All opinions are mine.
JohnnyLafayette, TNAge: 45-54Gender: Male5 Stars Out Of 5A Must Read for Every Spiritual Leadership!April 16, 2018JohnnyLafayette, TNAge: 45-54Gender: MaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Cream rises to the top. That is what I always have heard. For the past couple of years I've been listening to numerous podcasts about leadership and I have read plenty of blog posts as well. When asked what books have influenced their leadership the most, the one book that continues to rise to the top is none other than J. Oswald Sanders' book entitled Spiritual Leadership published by Moody.
I'm so glad to finally have this classic on my book shelf and the publisher Moody has recently updated it by changing the wording so that it can speak to the culture of our day. They were careful to remain faithful to his original meaning. They also added helpful end notes that helped you identify many of the authorities cited in the book since they may not be known by the modern reader. Another change was in the Scripture translation used to once again help the modern reader in his reading.
This book originally grew out of two series of messages that were originally spoken to the leaders of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship at conferences in Singapore in 1964 and 1966. After numerous requests these messages were eventually put into book form.
The truths in this book are timeless and fit any time period. Below you will find a summary of each chapter:
The author begins by showing that our ambition to lead must center on the glory of God and the welfare of the church. When we do this we are a mighty force for good.
That in this search for leaders we must realize that it is God alone who makes them therefore, a person must quality to be a spiritual leader. They begin by first seeking the Kingdom of God and at the appropriate time God will anoint that person with the Holy Spirit and calls them to a specific ministry.
To find what an ideal leader looks like, look no further than Jesus who took the form of a servant. The author in chapter 3 speaks to the qualities that were found in Jesus and the qualities that will make us into great servant leaders.
In chapter 4 he talks about the difference between a natural and a spiritual leader. There is no such thing as a self-made spiritual leader. A true leader influences others spiritually only because the Spirit works in and through him to a greater degree than in those he leads.
In chapter 5 he asks if I can become a leader. He speaks about how Jesus took a group of men who many would never have pegged as a leader and turned them into a group powerfully used by God. He asks a series of questions for us to mull over and then encourages us to work on our weaknesses. Most of these questions have to do with character than ability.
Chapter 6 dives into the leadership teaching of Paul and looks specifically at the Scripture in 1 Timothy which speaks to the qualities of an overseer.
Peter is another one who spoke on leadership in 1 Peter when he addresses his fellow shepherds. Chapter 7 takes a close look as to what he had to say about leadership and how he may have learned these qualities from his past failures and successes.
Chapter eight takes us through a list of essential qualities of leadership: discipline, vision, wisdom, decision, courage, humility, integrity, and sincerity.
In chapter 9 he gives us even more qualities including the appropriate use of humor, the right use of anger, the need for patience, the power of friendship, the use of tact and diplomacy, the incredible power of inspiration, the use of executive ability, the therapy of listening, and the art of letter writing.
According to chapter 10, a spiritual leader can do without many things but he/she cannot do without being Spirit-filled. They must be controlled by the Spirit of God.
If you want to know how the author feels about prayer and leadership in chapter 11, all you have to do is see his first sentence of this chapter which reads, "The spiritual leader should outpace the rest of the church, above all, in prayer"
The use of time will tell you much about the quality of a persons leadership. That is what the author says in chapter 12, where he convicts us of the fact that the president has and Jesus had the same 24 hours that we do each day.
In chapter 13 the author instructs that we should choose our books like we choose our friends, which speaks to the power of reading. I loved a quote that John Wesley spoke to his young ministers that he was influencing, Read or get out of the ministry. There is also helpful proven strategies for making your reading profitable in this chapter.
Chapter 14 is about improving your leadership by recognizing your weaknesses, making corrections, and cultivating strengths. There is a great guide written by Hudson Taylor to help in doing that in this chapter.
Self-sacrifice, loneliness, fatigue, criticism, rejection, pressure, perplexity, and cost to others are a summary of the cost that one finds in leadership. In chapter 15 he discusses the cost and how to focus on the rewards instead.
Chapter 16 was his lesson on the responsibilities of leadership. According to the author leaders are to serve, apply discipline at times, provide guidance, and show initiative.
There will always be tests of leadership. In chapter 17 he discussed the different tests that can come against a leader such as compromise, ambition, facing impossible situations where the leader must go forward, failure, and jealousy.
A leader cannot stand alone and must delegate responsibility to others. Using the example of Moses, the author shows in chapter 18 that to fail to delegate is a failure in using the resources that God has provided us. It hurts the leader but it hurts the people that could have used their talents in service as well.
A leader will not last forever. In chapter 19 the author speaks about trusting God when it is time for a leader to move on. The work is not built entirely upon the leader but upon his awesome God.
Chapter 20 is about reproducing leaders and the responsibility that a leader has to provide those under him the opportunity to exercise and develop their own powers. What struck me about this chapter is that we dont advertise the end that we have in view but rather take the pattern of Jesus and teach them to serve. He also went into detail how this is hard personal work and shouldnt be done on a mass scale.
Chapter 21 discusses the perils of leader, the dangers that the enemy may attempt to exploit in our life such as: pride; egotism; jealousy; popularity; infallibility; indispensability; elation and depression; prophet or leader; and disqualification.
The last chapter is a look at the life of Nehemiah and the qualities that made him a strong leader.
I highly recommend this book and now understand why other top notch leaders do as well. It is a timeless classic that should be on the book shelf of every leader, especially every spiritual leader.
I received a copy of this book for an honest review.
Steven.Dresen5 Stars Out Of 5A classicMarch 12, 2018Steven.DresenQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5One can look at any bookstore and see there is no shortage of books on leadership being published every year. J. Oswald Sanders classic which was originally published 50 years ago stands out because of the fact that it is throughly rooted in the Bible. The heart and soul of this book is what the Bible has to say about the character of a leader more than anything else. In a day and age where many churches and religious organizations are looking for natural leaders Sanders work serves as a helpful corrective.
In 22 chapters Sanders explores what the Bible has to say about spiritual leadership from every angle. Sanders from the start focuses on Christs requirement that leaders be servers. Sanders says The real spiritual leader is focused on the service he and she can render to God and other people, not on the residuals and perks of high office or holy title. We must aim to put more into life than we take out (p. 14). Every aspect of the spiritual life is addressed as it relates to fitness as spiritual leader from prayer to time management on to reading. Sanders also looks to the leaders task of raising up leaders who will be spiritual leader which is sorely needed in our day.
If youre looking for a book that gets to the heart of what it means to be a true Christian leader get this book. It is the most faithful book on leadership I have come across and in every chapter gets to the heart of what it means to be spiritual leader who honors Christ.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing it. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review.
WickEvansville, IndianaAge: 35-44Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5One of My Favorite BooksFebruary 10, 2018WickEvansville, IndianaAge: 35-44Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I was assigned to read Spiritual Leadership as part of one of my CIU summer classes, and I am so thankful that it was required reading. Outside of the Good Book, I do not recall a book speaking me to so much and causing me to reflect and share what I read. Had I read this book prior to this year, I believe I would simply think it is a good book. However, due to my position in life now, much of this book really provided me relevant insights and Godly wisdom that I was not ready to hear in years past.
Dr. John Oswald Sanders was an OMF (China Inland Mission) general director in the 1950's and 1960's and penned more than forty Christian living books. His book, Spiritual Leadership, receives high marks by some of today's great spiritual leaders like Chuck Colson and John MacArthur. The book was originally written in 1967, and I read the 1994 version that was updated by Moody Bible Institute. A newer version was printed four years ago which uses language that is less likely to confuse the younger generation. 750,000 copies of this 190 pager have sold over the years, and Bible verses (primarily NIV) are scattered throughout the 22 chapters. Each chapter begins with at least one Bible verse, and notes have been added to the text to identify the people whom Sanders cites.
Chapter topics include searching for leaders, insights on leadership from Paul and Peter, prayer, time, reading, improving leaders, responsibilities, tests, delegation, Nehemiah, and more. Study questions, an Index of Scripture, and an Index of Persons are found on the last 20+ pages. I found Chapter 15, The Cost of Leadership, to be the most meaningful chapter. Sanders tells us in this chapter that leaders will take up their cross and be lonely, tired, criticized, rejected, pressured, confused, and their family will also pay a price. Spiritual Leadership is not fun reading, but reading it points me to the cross. If you are in a position of leadership or if you think you might be one day, I highly recommend Sanders' Christian leadership classic. I will definitely be recommending it to others.
"Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long." Psalm 25:5