UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: Growing Leaders
Growing Leaders Growing Leaders
Reflections on leadership, life and Jesus

James Lawrence
ISBN 1841012467 (9781841012469)
BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship), 2004

Category: Church Leadership & Resources

When I first saw this book I thought, 'O good, this will help me to grow people into leadership within in my parish church', but that is not the prime focus of this book: Lawrence is writing more for people who are already in positions of leadership in the church.

He begins with a good discussion about what leadership actually is, concluding that it is to do with function, position, talent, gift and call. He then identifies six biblically based characteristics of Christian leadership. He acknowledges the challenges that leaders face today and makes some very good suggestions about avoiding problems such as burnout.

Perhaps the most useful thing in this book is the model for developing leaders. This forms the framework for chapters 3-6. At the centre of the model is the fact that Growing leaders know that they are chosen. This then links to three corners of the triangle: Growing leaders discern God's call, Growing leaders develop Christ-like character, and Growing leaders cultivate competence. And of course leaders are irrelevant where there are no people to lead, so the circle surrounding the model reminds us that Growing leaders lead in community.

This model is at the heart of the Arrow Leadership Programme, one of the ministries of the Church Pastoral Aid Society (CPAS), for which Lawrence works.

This is a very readable book with plenty of helpful illustrations. It provides much food for thought, not least in the way in which Lawrence brings together the three aspects of biblical knowledge, competencies and formation.

Sue Groom, June 2004

The Revd Sue Groom is the Director of Deanery Licensed Ministry for the Kensington Episcopal Area of London. Before this she was Vicar of St Matthew's, Yiewsley and also served as the Reader Training Officer for the Willesden Episcopal Area. She is the author of Linguistic Analysis of Biblical Hebrew (Paternoster Press, 2003).

BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship)

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