Designed to Lead: The Church and Leadership Development is a new leadership development book written by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck. Take a trip to any Christian bookstore and you will find quite a few books on Christian leadership. Sadly, many of these books seek to build leaders using techniques and leadership strategies of the world. The church does need to grow leaders, but the church should find her primary leadership strategy from God and not from the world. This is the underlying thought behind Designed to Lead. The burden of the authors in this book is that “in many churches, leaders are not being developed as fully and intentionally as the could be.”
In the Introduction the authors lead with some statements that if we believe them to be true then we ought to be serious about leadership development. A few of these are:
If We Believe….
that apart from Him we can do nothing, we must recognize that much of what is recognized as ‘leadership’ will not stand the test of time.
that God created the world and handed responsibility for watching over the garden to Adam and Eve, then human leadership must be understood as God-initiated.
that God has chosen to make His multifaceted wisdom known through the Church, then the leaders that are developed through the Church are “at the center” of God’s design to represent Himself in all facets of life
the command to make disciples is bigger and more beautiful than merely making converts and calling people to “make a decision,” then we understand the essential role of the Church in maturing people in Christ
While leadership development is the focus of the book the authors are clear that this is not the primary focus of the Church. Geiger and Peck state clearly that “the locus of the Church is and must be Jesus and His finished work for us. The center of the Church must be the gospel; for it is the gospel – His righteousness given to us in exchange for our sin – that created the Church, and it is the gospel that sustains the Church.”
The authors focus on three areas of leadership development: Conviction, Constructs and Culture. They state, “Churches that consistently produce leaders have a strong conviction to develop leaders, a healthy culture for leadership development, and helpful constructs to systematically and intentionally build leaders….without conviction to develop others, leadership development will not occur. Developing leaders must be a burning passion, a non-negotiable part of the vision of a local church and her leaders, or it will never become a reality. Culture..shared beliefs and values that drive the behavior of a group of people. constructs……….systems, processes, and programs developed to help develop leaders.” The authors divide the book into sections that fully develop these three areas.
Overall I found this book to be a helpful look at leadership development. It avoids trying to follow the latest trends and instead shows the need to develop leaders and guides the church through this process.
I received a copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.