Leading with love: A book review

I’ve been learning a ton lately about leadership.  It’s been very intentional because I’ve noticed some shortfalls or gaps in my leadership knowledge and skill lately.  I’m enjoying this time of focused effort, though there’s been a tremendous amount of personal challenge and growth involved.

One of the resources I’ve come across is a book written by my wife’s cousin’s father-in-law (go ahead, you can figure it out), Alexander Strauch.  Alex has written many helpful resources for the church, including “Biblical Eldership,” “The New Testament Deacon,” “If You Bite and Devour One Another,” “Equal Yet Different,” and the book I’ve been reading lately, “Leading with Love.” [affiliate links]

The full title of the book is “A Christian Leader’s Guide to Leading With Love.  Providentially, my exposure to this book comes right on the heals of my last post, confessing my own need to be more loving, and I’m finding it a welcome bit of instruction.

Alex builds his book around the structure and argument of 1 Corinthians 13, breaking his book into 3 parts:

Part One: Love Is Indispensable to Christian Leadership

Part Two: The Character and Behavior of a Loving Leader

Part Three: The Works of a Loving Leader

His goals for the book are best summed up in the first chapter, entitled “Connecting Love and Leadership.”  He states,

I firmly believe that truly understanding what the Bible says about love would significantly improve the relational skills of our church leaders and teachers and greatly enhance their effectiveness in ministry.  It would diminish senseless conflict and division, promote evangelism, and produce spiritually healthy churches.  More important, it would please the Lord.  This book, therefore, is written to leaders and teachers at every level of leadership within the local church… love is indispensable to you and your ministry.  As Michael Green so beautifully reminds us, “Love is the most attractive quality in the world.  And it lies at the heart of Christianity.”

As a Pastor, and as one who struggles to know how to love others well, I heartily agree with him.  This book is a must read for every Christian leader, including parents.  It is presently serving me as a wonderful reminder of the stewardship I’ve been given to love the bride of Christ as His undershepherd.

Resources mentioned in this post: [affiliate links]

83131: Study Guide to Biblical Eldership Study Guide to Biblical EldershipBy Alexander Strauch / Lewis & Roth

Equip men in your congregation to undertake one of the church’s most vital ministries! Designed to be used by prospective elders under the direction of mentors, 12 in-depth lessons explore biblical eldership principles—including doctrinal training, character, the importance of male leadership, and more. Includes end-of-chapter questions and self-assessment forms. 162 pages, spiralbound softcover from Lewis & Roth.

77759: The New Testament Deacon The New Testament DeaconBy Alexander Strauch / Lewis & Roth

A keen interest in the diaconate is sweeping through today’s church. Who are the deacons, what do they do, and why are they important? Claiming that the modern church has a distorted understanding of the New Testament deacon, Strauch examines relevant Scripture to help you better understand God’s design for this vital ministry. 192 pages, softcover from Lewis & Roth.

83166: Men and Women, Equal Yet Different Men and Women, Equal Yet DifferentBy Alexander Strauch / Lewis & Roth

Written for those who are unfamiliar with the biblical passages on gender and probably will not read a lengthy technical book on the subject, this book is especially suitable for high school and college-age young people. It is also an excellent resource for anyone who wants a quick overivew of all the key biblical passages relevant to the gender debate.

083315: If You Bite and Devour One Another: Biblical Principals for Handling Conflict If You Bite and Devour One Another: Biblical Principals for Handling ConflictBy Alexander Strauch / Lewis & Roth

Conflict in churches is a pervasive problem we know all too well. If You Bite & Devour One Another is the only book of its kind, examining all the biblical passages on conflict and outlining key scriptural principles for handling various kinds of conflicts among Christian–whether personal disputes, issues of Christian liberty in lifestyles, congregational matters, or disagreements about important doctrines. The book emphasizes Spirit-controlled attitudes and behaviors through solid Bible exposition and true-to-life stories of Christians handling real-life conflicts in a Christ-honoring way.

083212: Leading with Love Leading with LoveBy Alexander Strauch / Lewis & Roth

Leading with Loveprovides church leaders and teachers a clear understanding of what the Bible teaches about love. This understanding is essential to you as an individual leader and to the church as a whole. It will significantly improve your relational skills, enhance your effectiveness in ministry, diminish senseless conflict and division, build a healthier church, and promote evangelism.If you lead or teach people–whether as a Sunday school teacher, youth worker, women’s or men’s ministry leader, Bible study leader, administrator, music director, elder, deacon, pastor, missionary, or evangelist–this book will help you become a more loving leader or teacher.

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