Leader? That’s not me. That’s far from me.
Step even beyond—leadership development? On a church level? Me?
I’m little me. Esther I admire, but it’s Mary of Magdalene and Damaris that I relate to more.
So Designed To Lead: The Church and Leadership Development, a recently released book by Eric Geiger & Kevin Peck (B&H Books, 2016), maybe I will gift it to my pastor, but on my shelf?
But listen as the authors write, “We don’t want to be overly dramatic, but there is so much at stake here. The Church of God must be the locus of leadership development that God has designed her to be” (30).
Our church is at stake.
The suffering world is at stake.
Your identity is at stake.
Your calling is at stake.
God’s glory is at stake.
The church and leadership development touches you. Our neighbor. The homeless man down the street. Wall Street gurus. The teen hanging out on the corner, as well as the enrolled-in-eight-AP-classes-and-still-doing-sports-and-clubs high school junior. And your touch to them.
If you are in Christ, you are an ambassador. You are a leader. The question is not if YOU are a leader, but what kind of a leader you are. Really? If we truly believe the biblical account from Genesis to Revelation, the calling and demands of Jesus, the Church must not only be developing leaders, but be the locus of leadership development Geiger and Peck convincingly argue and biblically, theologically unpack. Moreover, it shouldn’t be taking leadership principles from the world chiefly, but let the Servant Leader of Christ, come-and-die-leadership shape our essence of leadership.
Do we even know what that looks like sometimes?
Let your imagination fly for a minute. What would the world look like? We fear authority—because we fear the power we have seen. What is Christ’s leadership? Christ’s kingship? What would that look like in the local high school, business, soccer club, PTA, Kiwanis, even Wall Street as God’s people move out as his ambassadors? Geiger and Peck effectively argue that this is our calling.
Let your imagination run. Picture authority redeemed. Picture the local church stepping into her calling, sending. Imagine leader’s hearts shaped by the gospel. Geiger and Peck help us see, help us see errors to discern, and to apply a correct assessment/diagnosis to move into God’s calling by his grace, Spirit, and power.
Let your imagination run—what did Jesus see in Peter the rough-cut fisherman? Mary Magdalene with demons? Damaris a quiet pagan seamstress? Moses a runaway, hide in the desert and forgotten murderer? Potential. Let Jesus’ eyes be your eyes, and look again at your church, your business, your world, your role, your toe-in-the-body-of-Christ place.
“We wrote this book because we love the Church. But we also wrote this book with holy angst and anticipation…. Because our hearts grieve when ministry leaders fail to see the Kingdom potential in their midst, the ‘ordinary people’ waiting to be developed and deployed” (9).
Leadership and discipleship? Have you fallen into the mentality that leadership is an additional thing for the church if given resources? We disciple, and leadership is the next step? Leadership development is discipleship; discipleship is leadership development. Peck and Geiger give steps to undergird this.
The gospel and leadership? “The essence of Christianity is not that we serve Him first, but that He has served us by sacrificing Himself on the cross in our place and enduring suffering and shame” (5).
The how tos? Like good under-shepherds, leaders, and models, the authors walk through the cores of conviction, culture, and constructs in tangible ways. It helps you and I, the average “non-leader” we see ourselves as, evaluate our church, test our culture, see our character, see our role as well. This equips us to come alongside of the shepherds God has placed over us. The how-tos, yes, are most helpful for leaders, but do not exclude us.
Character and leadership? Is there mistrust, hurt, from authority? Geiger and Peck bring in heart, character, theology, idolatry, and sin, addressing them in grace. Leadership as God designed from the very Garden of Eden.
Calling. Convicting. Practical. Gospel-centered. Heart-penetrating. Vision-casting. Methodical. Balanced.
Leadership redeemed in Christ.
*Thank you to B & H Books for sending me a copy to review.
Original review at http://astonescry.blogspot.com/