Developing a Theology of Leadership

Last night I decided to read an ebook that has been on my laptop for quite some time. I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of ebooks, but this one is a must read for anyone in the area of leadership, inside or outside of the church.

Developing a Theology of Leadership is a small ebook that is only about 14 pages. You can easily read it in one setting and it only took me about 15 minutes to read it. It is written by Tony Morgan who is a well-known person in the area of Christian leadership.

Morgan basically breaks the book up into five parts:

Part One: Building a Firm Foundation

Part Two: Servant Leadership

Part Three: Empowerment

Part Four: Character

Part Five: Put it Into Action

In part one, Morgan challenges you to build your idea and theology of leadership on the Bible. He is not against learning from leaders outside the Christian circle, but our foundation needs to be God’s Word. In part two, Morgan talks about being a servant leader and how if you base your theology of leadership on Scripture you will have to be a servant leadership, its Biblical! In part three, Morgan explains how true leadership is empowering others to do God’s work. In part four, Morgan reminds you that leadership is less about the leaders abilities, but about his character. Then lastly in part five, Morgan give you a strategic plan how networking with leaders around you to help you grow as a leader.

Here are a few quotes from the book to hopefully wet your appetite and make you want to read this great book:

“Biblical leaders cannot be anything but servant leaders.”

“Leadership isn’t leadership if it isn’t released to others.”

“Leadership is less about the words or actions of the leader and more about the character of the leader.”

“I may be gifted to lead, but my character will determine the ongoing impact of my leadership.”

Leaders, take a few minutes of your time and read this helpful ebook. It’s free and downloadable, so go here to get it! Also, my friend Josh Evans, student pastor at Union Grove Baptist Church in NC, wrote a short blog about this book as well. You can read his thoughts here.

Advertisements

Youth Ministry Defined

A few months ago I ordered Houston Heflin’s book Youth Pastor: The Theology and Practice of Youth Ministry. I only read the first few chapters and never finished the entire book. I am hoping to go back and finishing reading this great book soon. In the first chapter, Heflin does something that most youth ministry books do not do, he talks about the youth pastor’s and youth leaders personal walk with God. During this chapter he also gives his definition of youth ministry which is the best definition I have ever heard.

Youth ministry is a Spirit-led discipleship process by which God works through Christian adults to lead teens into relationship with God and to Christlike maturity as part of the body of Christ, the church.

What I love about this definition is the fact it deals with the adult’s walk with God before anything else. Before someone can minister to students they must be growing in their own faith. If we are not growing in our walk with God than we have nothing to give students except fun, games, and some cheap entertainment. But if we are growing in our walk with God we have Biblical insight and real life faith to give them. God chooses to work through people. He can and will work through other things you may do in youth ministry, but God desires to use spiritual adults to point students to Jesus and a mature faith. To all my fellow youth workers, focus on your walk with God above all else. Do not lay your walk with God on the altar for games, fun, and entertainment in youth ministry! We must be walking with God and growing in our faith before we can be effective youth workers.

Houston Heflin, Ed.D is a member of the North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE) and the Association of Youth Ministry Educators (AYME). He is on faculty at Abilene Christian University, where he teaches courses on ministry, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences and workshops.

Two books I would recommend on this subject is Indispensable Youth Pastor by Mark DeVries and Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields.

Grace and Mercy in the Ted Haggard Story

Now that the semester is winding down and I have finished all my reading I figured I should pick up a book that is something other than my textbook readings. I have been reading Why I Stayed by Gayle Haggard. For anyone that doesn’t know about the whole story, Ted Haggard, Gayles husband, was a leading pastor of the evangelical movement and was the pastor of a mega church called New Life. After hiding sin, some accusations came out against him and he confessed that he was in sin and was dealing with homosexuality and had hidden sin in his life. As the issue came out all over the media, many people bashed him and shunned him, but in this book, Gayle talks about Ted’s Haggard repentance and real sorrow for his sin. The REAL story of what happened after the sin was confessed is held in this great book. I must say that God’s grace and mercy shines throughout this book as you read about Ted’s repentance and the restoration of the Haggard family and marriage after this horrible sin. The verse that has been brough up and has been coming to my mind throughout this book is Galatians 6:1 where Paul tells us to restore our brothers and sisters in Christ when they are overtaken in a sin. I believe, and know that Ted Haggard admits to this in the book, that he has lost his opportunity to be a pastor again because of the sin, but that doesn’t mean God’s grace, mercy, and restoration will not happen. I have enjoyed reading this book and it has been reminding me that no matter how bad we may mess up in our Christian life, God will always restore us and show us mercy if we confess and turn from the sin!

A great website that featured this book and I have enjoyed reading there material is People of the Second Chance (www.deadlyviper.org). This website has brought a lot of things to my attention and has got me to really think about how so many leaders in the Christian world have fallen and the human tendency is to shun them and we do not practice grace and mercy towards them. We must remember God will always show grace and mercy to His children no matter how bad we mess up!

90 Minutes in Heaven

90%20minutes%20in%20heavenI just got done reading 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper today. I must say, I enjoyed this book much more than I thought. At first I was very skeptical about someone actually dying and going to heaven only to be sent back to earth. Even after reading this book, I really believe it cannot happen. But I am not going to judge or cut down Don Piper just because he believes it happen to him. Even though I don’t really believe it happened in the sense Piper says, I still was encouraged by this book. Only one chapter of the book was really devoted to his 90 minutes in heaven. The rest of the book was about his recovery and how he helped others that went through the same type of recovery he went through.

I think the main theme of this book and what Don Piper learned through his ordeal is what 2 Corinthians 1:3,4 says: “All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT) Don Piper talks a lot about how he was depressed and angry through his recovery but God comforted him and got him through. And just like this verse says, Piper learned how to help others and comfort others that are going through what he went through.

I believe every situation we go through in life, God has a reason and we need to always use our past troubles and pains to help others because if they are going through something we already went through, we can identify with their pain and comfort them! That is what I got out of this book and I would encourage everyone to take a few days and read this book. To get all the information and details about this book, go to the website. Also, to learn more about Don Piper himself, go to his own personal website here.

If you want to read another great review of the book head on over to Tim Challies blog and read his review. You can read that review here.

Another popular book about this type of thing is Heaven is for Real which tells the account a young boy who claimed he went to heaven. Worth taking a look at if this type of think interests you. Also, I ran across a book called Flight to Heaven that is a pilot’s account of this sort of thing.

The Unlikely Disciple

lens3870002_1239080967roose-unlikely-disciple-closeupI recently just finished The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose. By far, this has been one of my favorite books I have ever read! Kevin Roose is a student at Brown University, a liberal school known for their liberal views. Kevin meets a group of evangelical Christian students from Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University one day. As he spends a few minutes talking with them, he realizes he doesn’t know anything about the evangelical world of Christians and has a hard time conversing with them. Because of this, Kevin decides to transfer to Liberty University for a semester to see what the evangelical Christian world is all about. As he spends his semester at Liberty, he does not tell anyone he an unbeliever and for a semester, he basically fakes being a Christian. Throughout the semester at Liberty, Kevin learns all about the evangelical world, the good and the bad! Without telling you anymore of the story, there were two things that stood out to me as I read through this book.

First, while Kevin is a Liberty, he befriends many Christians, but even Kevin admits, they don’t act like Christians they act just like his secular friends from Brown. This fact struck home because as Christians we are called to be different than the world, but here we have Liberty students, Christians students, that are acting just like the world. I am not bashing on Liberty because even my Bible college has students who don’t act like Christians. The point us, these people didn’t know Kevin was a nonbeliever. So that whole time they were acting nothing like Christians, they were being a horrible witness for an unbeliever, Kevin Roose. At the end of the book, when Kevin goes back to Liberty and tells his friends that he made about what he was doing and the fact he wasn’t a believer, many of them felt horrible because they knew they didn’t like the best for God while he was with them. This was a lesson to me to always be living for God no matter what, where, or when because they may be a lost person closer to you than you imagine.

Secondly, we as Christians forget about how the lost world sees us. Kevin admits that the way he saw evangelical Christians was wrong. Kevin says, “…not that you were right, but that I was wrong.” Sad to say, Kevin Roose never became a believer because of the time spent at Liberty, but he did admit that the way he saw Christians was wrong. As Christians, we have the reputation of being mean, harsh people who cause hurt and anger to nonbelievers. But we need to make sure we are standing firm upon God’s Word and taking a stand for God in this world, but make sure we are showing the nonbelievers that we really do love them and want them to come into the family of God.

I highly recommend this book for anyone! It is a great book to read and will really open your mind and eyes up to how the world see us as Christians. For more info on the book and Kevin Roose, go to www.kevinroose.com. Here is a video that gives an insight to the book: