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The Leader's Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation Hardcover – January 23, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (January 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078796266X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787962661
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The Leader's Journey is a gift that issues from the authors' unflagging commitment to the ministry of the church and a love for the church's leaders who labor faithfully for the church."
— J. Bradley Creed, provost and professor of religion, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama

"The Leader's Journey made my brain sweat (fresh ways to think) and filled my heart with hope (the possibility of transformation). This is not a quick-fix disappointment. Enjoy the pathway— it's transforming."
— Jared Roth, vice president and COO, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel

"We need leaders who lead from the inside out with a life of moral integrity, personal accountability experienced in authentic community, and who call others to follow them into the journey of transformational change. This book is a must read for those who want help in taking this journey."
— Dr. Jack Dennison, founder, CitiReach International, Colorado Springs, Colorado

"This book is a much-needed addition to the field of pastoral leadership. It does a marvelous job of taking insights from family systems theory, fusing them with solid Biblical theology, and making these concepts practical and accessible for pastors."
— Dr. Jim Jackson, pastor, Chapelwood United Methodist Church,
Houston, Texas

"Instead of giving us leadership techniques to be applied to others, the authors provide practical principles and personal stories of how leaders can manage themselves instead of others. This is a book pastors and congregational leaders need to read."
— Bill Easum, president, Easum, Bandy, & Associates


From the Inside Flap

Many books describe elements of church leadership— what it is and how to do it— but very few focus on the process of personal transformation that is central to being able to lead well.
The Leader's Journey provides a blueprint and the practical tools needed to transform the lives of pastors and congregational lay leaders so that they can become truly effective leaders. Blending the best of sound psychological research, solid Biblical principles, and proven congregational experiences— authors Jim Herrington, Robert Creech, and Trisha Taylor offer step-by-step guidance for engaging in the personal transformation journey as part of effective congregational leadership.
To lead well, pastors must first focus on managing themselves rather than managing others and learn to think in a different way about how people in living systems affect each other. As pastors learn to manage their own anxiety, they can handle themselves more calmly and lead in the midst of anxious congregations.
The Leader's Journey also examines the life of Jesus and reflects on the living systems of which He was a part, observing His ability to know and do the right thing despite enormous pressure to do otherwise. To emulate His life, the authors encourage leaders to pursue a more intimate relationship with God so that they will be able to keep their lives in balance when outside influences and pressures tend to overtake us.
The concepts presented in this useful volume have been successfully implemented in large and small congregations all over the world through The Leader's Edge seminars. Throughout The Leader's Journey, Herrington, Creech, and Taylor share their own stories of transformation and those of other pastors and lay leaders, and each chapter contains reflective questions for self-assessment that will engage you in your transformational journey.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 11 customer reviews
A must read for any church leader - pastors, elders, deacons . . .
Ryan Braam
It will help you to take responsibility for your part and to develop a capacity for choosing to love others even in the midst of conflict.
Zossima
Read it slowly (don't miss out on the excellent questions at the end of each chapter!)
"txdisciple"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Zossima on February 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I was honored to do some editing work on this book. The book is primarily an application of Bowen family systems theory to the Christian life. Its target audience is Christian leaders in that the anecdotal evidence is drawn from leaders' lives and the results are applied to congregational settings.
One important message for leaders is that the important elements of Bowen family systems theory --seeing systems instead of merely looking for simple cause and effect, identifying one's own habitual responses to anxiety and conflict, disciplining one's self to be a present, calm, loving influence in the midst of conflict, etc.-- are essential components of the leaders toolkit. I believe that done properly, as acts of surrendering control to Christ and choosing to love others unconditionally, the material in this book comprises some new spiritual disciplines.
I believe that this book is important for several reasons:
* It is one of the most articulate, secular or Christian, explanations of Bowen family systems theory
* It explains the theory in the context of Scripture and Christ; frankly, it is only in Christ that we can have the hope of truly being free to love and free from the influence of our anxious world
* It recognizes that all the church growth how-to books in the world are worthless if the leader lives life reacting to others and being an anxious presence in the life of the church
* It calls the leader to take responsibility for his/her own behavior, recognizing that learning to love others will result in them learning to love, too
Leader, is their a cold war of silence going on between you and one or more of your immediate family or between you and one or more of your church leaders or parishioners?
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "txdisciple" on July 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I wish I had a nickel for all the "ah-ha" moments I had while reading "The Leader's Journey."
Using simple terms and real-life stories, the authors describe the (often overlooked) connection between our personal lives and our role as leaders in a congregation. At a time when we are too often tempted to go through life on auto-pilot (doing things the way they've always been done, acting according to everyone else's expectations, staying trapped in handed-down family patterns), this book comes to us with a message of freedom: By God's grace, you can define who you are and choose to live (and lead) from that place of authenticity.
This book invited me to see common patterns in my behavior (at home, at work, at church), and then it outlined for me the skills I need to respond in new ways. With each new page, I found myself saying, "that makes so much sense!" The authors apply tried-and-true realities of family life to everyday church situations. And in the end, we are reminded that we cannot expect to change another person (or a family, or a church) until we do the hard work of changing ourselves.
I have already purchased several copies of this book to send to friends in Christian leadership throughout the country. It is an absolute 'must' for men and women in ministry. And strongly recommended for lay church leaders. Read it slowly (don't miss out on the excellent questions at the end of each chapter!) and allow God to work through the pages as you read.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Dan Buchanan on March 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book is really amazing. If I had to pick one thing that I learned from this book (there are too many to count), I would say it was understanding the concept of anxiety. Anxiety exists in every imaginable home, church, business, and community. In this book, I learned how to better identify and treat it.
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The purpose of this book: to know and to do the right thing

The purpose of this book on personal and congregational transformation is to guide the reader to be a good leader, which is to seek "to know and to do the right thing" (XV, 15). This takes, "embarking on the journey of personal transformation 'apprenticing with Jesus to learn how to live and how to lead" (15). This same purpose is reinforced in the epilogue. In conclusion the authors write, "There are things that only God can do, and there are things that God will not do unless we participate. . . . The question that is hanging in the balance is, Will we participate with God in embracing the transformation that must occur in each of us?" This transformation requires a new set of skills, accompanied by a reflective life of spiritual disciplines "(157). For this to happen, a 'yielding our lives to Jesus Christ and walking with a community of fellow learners is essential' (157).

So what does it take to know and to do the right thing, and to acquire this new set of skills, yielding our lives to Jesus Christ in community for personal and congregational transformation, according to this book?

If anything, this book is about seeking to imitate Christ as the mentor and model of systems theory for personal and congregational transformation. Jesus Christ is presented, first and foremost as example to follow in obedience as I think I have already pointed out with plenty of examples; him being the perfect self-differentiator, even the perfect triangulator (see 53), etc. Jesus, indeed seems to fit quite neatly into systems theory thinking and practice, according to the authors.

Now, be it far from me to deny that Jesus is to be followed (cf. Matthew 4:19, esp.
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The Leader's Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation
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