Friday, January 16, 2009
Nonfiction Book Review: On Church Leadership
Driscoll, Mark. 2008. On Church Leadership.
On Church Leadership is just one of a handful of books in a series entitled "A Book You'll Actually Read." It's designed to be read by 'regular' and 'ordinary' people in about an hour. And I must admit the format of the book is not intimidating. It's a little book. (Under 100 pages). Short. Sweet. To the point.
I knew this author was a kindred spirit of sorts when he mentioned this in the introduction, "You will not read a bunch of cute stories about bunny rabbits giving their lives to Jesus and such because I do not want to waste my words or any of your time." (10)
The titles of the chapters within the book are: "Pastor Jesus," "Elders," "Women In Ministry," "Deacons," "Members," and "Leadership Teams."
Was the book useful? Yes and no. I don't consider myself part of the 'leadership' of my church. I do teach a Sunday School class. And I am the church secretary (newly appointed within the last week or so). But a position with power and say so? I don't think so. I think it could be useful to other readers though. Those men who fill those 'elder' and 'deacon' roles especially.
One of the things I learned reading the book was the concept of how 'prophet, priest, and king' should be used in leadership teams. Christ was all three: prophet, priest, and king. Each title had a different role, different gift, associated with it. Within a church, you need people to fill all three roles--people who focus on love and compassion and caring for the people's needs; people who are responsible for teaching and preaching; and people who are all about organizing and keeping things moving forward and functioning--someone who has the leadership abilities to manage and delegate. If your church doesn't have all three, then problems arise and it's not as healthy and as functioning as it could be, should be.
What I realized during the reading of the book is how 'fallen short' most churches and denominations are. Not in a mean way. Not in a critical way. Not in an I-could-do-so-much-better way. But in a oh-my-we-need-grace way. The qualifications of those men (and women) within the church. Oh my. The way the church is supposed to operate. I could use a LOT more Jesus and a LOT less politics.