50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Superb book on spiritual formation of leaders,
This review is from: A Work of Heart : Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders (Hardcover)
Most books for Christian leaders I have read lately deal primarily with skills. I recommend many of these to pastors in my work as a church consultant, because leadership skills are critical to effectiveness.
But McNeal in this book deals with something more foundational than skills--how God shapes the heart of a leader. After four wonderful character sketches, tracing how God shaped the hearts of Moses, David, Paul, and Jesus, preparing them for leadership, McNeal moves into what he calls the six "subplots" of the leader's life: culture, call, community, communion, conflict, and the commonplace.
In the chapter on culture, the author describe two options for how the church can relate to the world--as refuge or mission. Refuge "congregations focus on the past. Fearful of change, these churches create a safe, nostalgic haven for their members." In the missional church, however, "leaders who want to transform the culture seek to build as many bridges as possible to the world outside the faith."
The chapter on communion is probably the best treatment I have seen of the importance of "sabbath time"--regular, protected periods of time alone with God--that I have read. I have been suprised in my work by how few pastors have a discipline of regular, intentional blocks of solitude every week or every other week. I believe that this, far more than learning any set of skills, has the potential to infuse power into the ministry of spiritual leaders. For many pastors and other spiritual leaders, this chapter alone, if heeded, would be worth many times the price of this book.
I sometimes close or follow a consultation by giving the senior pastor the gift of a timely book. This is one I expect to be giving often.
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Initial post: Apr 15, 2011 6:09:16 PM PDT
J. Cousins-Simpson says:
Go get a JOB Eddie!! There is no such thing as a Pastor Consultant!!! from a real pastor
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 8, 2016 7:03:44 PM PST
You might have misidentified Eddy's job. He is a church consultant, not a pastoral consultant. I took a quick look at one of his books. Instead of building an addition to the church, the book focuses on how a church can better use their resources instead of incurring unnecessary building and debt yet freeing people to use their gifts and talents more effectively. I'd say that's a pretty useful service he provides. I've never heard of the man until today but I'd be quick to compliment such thinking before I'd find fault with it.
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