Archives For Leadership

 

The Vital Humanness
of Moral Leaders

A Review of 

Moral Leadership for a Divided Age: Fourteen People Who Dared to Change Our World
David Gushee / Colin Holtz

Hardback: Brazos Press, 2018
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

Reviewed by Aaron Morrison

 

Moral Leadership for a Divided Age works best as an introduction to moral leaders who have made a positive impact through their deep conviction to work for the common good. Readers may wish other leaders would have been included, or they may be disappointed in the limited reflection on how moral leaders form us into better people. Nonetheless, David Gushee and Colin Holtz have designated a well-intentioned list of remarkable people whose lives have much to teach us about being good citizens in a divided polis.

Continue Reading…

 

One of the most important books released this month is:
 

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts
Brené Brown

Hardback: Random House, 2018.
Buy Now:
Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]  [ Audible ]

 

*** Our Intro Guide to
Brené Brown’s Work
 

 

In this interview with CBS This Morning,
Brown offers a fine, concise intro to this new book:

 
Continue Reading…

 

Weaving a Life of
Relationship and Experience

A review of

Mentoring: Biblical, Theological, and Practical Perspectives
Dean K. Thompson /
D. Cameron Murchison, Eds.

Foreword by Jill Duffield
Afterword by Martin Marty

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2018
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]
 
Reviewed by Jennifer Burns Lewis
 
Every now and then one encounters a resource that provides a treasure trove of information and perspectives that enhances one’s ministry and life. Mentoring is just such a resource. Educators, parents, seminary staff, field education supervisors, spiritual directors, coaches, denominational leaders and everyone called to nurture and encourage relationships with emerging Christian leaders — as well as the emerging leaders themselves — will find thoughtful reflections from multiple angles as they seek to mentor, understand the mentoring process, or assist those merging leaders in identifying great mentors.

Continue Reading…

 

A Glimpse into
the Pope’s Mind and Heart
 
A Review of

With the Smell of the Sheep:
The Pope Speaks to Priests, Bishops and Other Shepherds
Giuseppe Merola, ed., 

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by James Dekker

 

Considering that the Roman Catholic Pope is commonly called “the Holy Father,” it might come as a surprise that Pope Francis has been the target of pretty unholy criticism from certain church leaders, lay and ordained. First Things, the journal founded by the late Richard John Neuhaus—once progressive Lutheran pastor turned conservative Catholic priest—regularly publishes articles sharply opposed to Francis’ speeches, writings, theology and activities.

  Continue Reading…

 

Experiencing  the Now-But-Not-Yet
of God’s Kingdom

 
A Brief Review of 

The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World
Sandra Maria Van Opstal

Paperback:  IVP Books, 2016.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Leslie Starasta
 
 

In her most recent book The Next Worship: Glorifying God in a Diverse World, Sandra Maria Van Opstal presents a convincing case for why diverse or multicultural worship must become normal and expected in our churches rather than reserved for special events.  Van Opstal does so using biblical evidence, leadership resources, engaging metaphors and her own personal experiences as a worship leader and trainer.

Continue Reading…

 

mandy-smith

Acknowledging our Human Condition

 
An Interview with Mandy Smith,
Author of 

The Vulnerable Pastor:
How Human Limitations Empower Our Ministry

Paperback: IVP Books, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

The current issue of our print magazine, mailed earlier this week, features an interview that John Pattison did with Mandy Smith.  John’s interview was longer than we could use and several questions were trimmed in the editing process. However, this conversation was too good to waste, so we are sharing these extra questions here.

 

PATTISON: How do you think vulnerability as you describe it in this book should be cultivated in our church communities?

SMITH: For us, it started with me being able to go there. Somebody has to be the first one to break out of the mold. There are all these reasons why that is scary. I hope my book can be a kind of companion along the journey, so that whoever goes first can say to their community, “This is going to be worth it.” Then, not only do they give freedom to other people, by being courageous, they themselves learn not to be ashamed, if the community is kind enough not to reject them for it.

Confession and testimony are a big part of this. They have fallen out of practice in a lot of traditions. But in my experience, that is where all this began and where it began to filter down to more and more folks.

Continue Reading…

 

Delicious and Desirable, but Incomplete?

 

A Feature Review of 

The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reaclaiming a Lost Vision
Kevin Vanhoozer and Owen Strachan

Hardback: Baker Academic, 2015
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

 

Reviewed by Adam Joyce

 

When talking with pastors, you sometimes hear how the work of theology—reading, writing and research—is a luxury. Seminary provided the space for it, but accumulating ministry pressures mean book spines remain uncracked, theological memories remain dormant, the conference room supplants the study, and the balance sheet replaces Barth. Theology (especially academic theology) appears inapplicable to the practical and immediate concerns of ecclesial life.

In The Pastor as Public Theologian, written by theologians Owen Strachan and Kevin Vanhoozer, the aim is to revive the theological portion of the pastoral vocation. Strachan and Vanhoozer argue that many churches and pastors have forgotten what pastors are for, too often viewing them as CEOs, entrepreneurs, activists, therapists, or celebrities. And while the pastorate has undergone changes throughout Christian history, the multiplication of pastoral roles is a sign of mission drift and confusion.

Continue Reading…

 

Bringing Rich Theology into Conversation with Principles of Leadership

 

A Feature Review of 

Storied Leadership:
Foundations of Leadership from a
Christian Perspective
Brian Jensen and Keith Martel

Paperback: Falls City Press, 2015.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Stephen Milliken

 

Storied Leadership is a persuasive and multi-layered re-telling of the Christian story through the lens of leadership. Jensen and Martel have an exceptional ability to weave many lessons and themes throughout their narrative tapestry without leaving the reader behind. Uniquely, the telling of the Christian story through the frame of Creation, Fall, Redemption and Restoration echoes in the background of this refection on Christian leadership. The simplicity and depth of their writing establishes Storied Leadership not only as one of the best resources for college students today, but also as an asset in the larger Christian leadership conversation that brings together various Christian themes into a coherent whole.

Continue Reading…

 

A Little Walter Mitty in All of Us.

A Brief Review of

 

The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager’s Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life
Mike Matheny

Hardback: Crown Books, 2015.
Buy now:  [ Amazon  ]   [ Kindle  ]

Reviewed by Dave Baker.

 

Everyone loves a good story and Mike Matheny has provided one. The Matheny Manifesto was written for sports parents by someone who is an expert on that subject, but the book will appeal to a broader audience. Namely Cardinal fans and anyone who is interested in coaching as leadership. This book grew out of a letter that he wrote after he was asked to coach a little league team. That letter was his way of establishing the rules. Not the infield fly rule kind, but rather rules that relate to behavior and expectations. His intention is to make sports a positive experience for everyone and that is admirable.  One of the most important things he writes is to be careful about what we tell kids. (106)

Continue Reading…

 

LGFrancisStaying Awake

 

An Op-Ed on Ferguson and Faith

 

By Leah Gunning Francis,
author of Ferguson and Faith
(Forthcoming, Chalice Press,
Summer 2015)

 
In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech titled Don’t Sleep Through the Revolution during a Unitarian Universalist General Assembly meeting in Hollywood, Florida.  King’s speech was a clarion call for the church to remain awake to the social injustices of the day, and join the efforts to eradicate oppressive systems in the United States and abroad.  It was one year after “Bloody Sunday” in Selma, Alabama where peaceful protests were lodged to lobby for African Americans to have the rights to vote, but were met with violent opposition from police and civilians. The images from “Bloody Sunday,” coupled with Dr. King’s invitation, compelled hundreds of clergy from around the country to come to Selma and join the struggle for voting rights.
 
Continue Reading…