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The Self-Aware Leader: Discovering Your Blind Spots to Reach Your Ministry Potential Paperback – March 14, 2017
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"This book is designed to equip young Christians to grow in their capabilities, devotion, and development, and to maximize the vapor that God has given to each of us for his glory!" (John H. Sather, national director, Cru Inner City)
"When I went into full-time ministry at twenty years old, I wish I'd had this book at my disposal. The Self-Aware Leader is an incredible tool for both individuals and teams, but it's especially helpful for young leaders learning to navigate ministry, leadership, and their own limitations for the first time. In this book, Terry helps leaders have the tough conversations necessary for growing in both self-awareness and Christlikeness." (Elle Campbell, author, speaker, cofounder of Stuff You Can Use)
"Fresh and relevant! This book brilliantly offers great insights and will challenge you to take a deeper look at how ministry has been done in the past. It is a game-changer for Christian youth workers desperately trying to stay in step with our rapidly shifting culture, providing real-life strategies for success! Bravo!" (Joan McClendon, project director, Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative, Saint Mary's College, adjunct instructor, Bethel College)
"I've been waiting for Terry to write this book ever since I first heard him talk about it. It's overdue! It's a must-read for every leader. I will highly recommend it to anyone who desires to be a healthy leader." (Doug Fields, veteran youth pastor, bestselling author, cofounder, Downloadyouthministry.com)
"In a society where people remain silent from having the conversations needed for healthy settings, ministries have relaxed and adopted the normalcy of allowing gaps among leaders. The young adult leader occupies the past and the present but is unable to lead well without addressing the day-to-day issues. My friend Terry provides practical exercises that will help organizations learn how to gather together, address issues, and adopt best practices to keep the lines of communication open and ongoing." (Fred Oduyoye, director of networking, Youth Specialties)
"Terry Linhart has given a gift to those of us who care about developing faithful leadership for the decades ahead. The Self-Aware Leader provides wonderful content and profound questions for reflection that can help leaders do the important inner work that is absolutely vital for long-term effectiveness in ministry. This is a wonderful resource, both for leaders and their mentors!" (Ken Knipp, VP of training, Young Life)
"For years, Terry has helped equip young leaders like myself to serve the church well as pastors, ministry directors, missionaries, and more. The idea of learning to see in community what you cannot see on your own has been a constant thread in his work. The church is better because of leaders like Terry. In this project, The Self-Aware Leader, Terry stays true to form and offers piercing yet practical insight for rookie and seasoned leaders alike. While many leadership books can devolve into the realm of self-help, this work challenges us to overcome our blind spots by engaging in the critical, Spirit-led process of self-examination and communal reflection that moves a leader toward a place of confession, forgiveness, and growth. If you can only read one book on leadership this year, you should make it The Self-Aware Leader!" (Edrin C. Williams, The Sanctuary Covenant Church)
"Grounded in years of experience in leadership development and a passion for seeing leaders flourish, Linhart brings much-needed attention to common blind spots that often hinder young leaders and provides biblical practices to address them. A must-read practical guide for leadership teams or anyone hoping to grow their effectiveness in leadership!" (Tom Lin, president/CEO of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship)
"Terry Linhart has delivered a winning exploration of what you need to know about your past, present, and future leadership journey. Those you lead will thank you for reading this book." (Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute, coauthor of Growing Young)
"Terry takes us on a deep dive into the inner life of a leader, which truly guides all of life and leadership. He is gentle and gracious, yet direct and relentless, to go after the critical areas of a leader's life. If you allow it, this book will be a deep dive into your soul and character that will utterly transform your whole life." (April L. Diaz, author and speaker, Slingshot Group associate, director of coaching, The Youth Cartel)
"A few ministry leadership tours of duty convinced me that too many otherwise gifted people hit ineffectiveness walls because they were unable (or unwilling) to carefully consider the cracks in their foundations. As Terry Linhart points out, we've all got them. But when we're deluded into thinking that it's more important to give others what we think they want than to give them what we know we can offer, the temptation to 'act the part' gains a foothold in our hearts. This book is written by a friend who has become comfortable in his own skin and wonderfully fruitful as a leader, in part because he is fully committed to staying on the same journey he so carefully describes as necessary for the authentic, self-aware leader." (Dave Rahn, senior ministry advisor, Youth for Christ USA)
About the Author
Terry Linhart (PhD, Purdue University) is an author, speaker, consultant, and professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College in South Bend, Indiana. He is founder and leader of the Arbor Research Group and hosts the leadership podcast 37thePodcast. His books include Evangelism Remixed, Teaching the Next Generations, What Can We Do? and Global Youth Ministry. For over twenty-five years, Terry has led and taught about topics related to Christian ministry and organizational oversight. His youth ministry experience includes eight years in parachurch ministry with Youth for Christ and seven years as youth pastor at Hope Missionary Church in Bluffton, Indiana. He has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, North Park University, Huntington College, Taylor University, and Alliance Graduate School in Quezon City, Philippines. He and his wife Kelly live near South Bend, Indiana, and they have three grown children.
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Linhart is professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College in South Bend. He has served in youth ministry, parachurch ministry, as a leadership consultant and has taught at Asbury, North Park, Hunting College, Taylor University and Alliance Graduate School. The Self-Aware Leader is chockfull of practical insights to help ministry leaders reach their full potential.
Self-awareness is a tricky thing. We all have blind spots because of the demands of ministry and our natural capacity for self-deception. Citing Gordon Smith, Linhart argues that self- discerning people are "Conscious of their own capacity for self-deception and thus of their vital need for the encouragement, support and wisdom of others" (15). Throughout the book, Linhart names each area he sees that has potential blind spots.
Chapter one invites us to self-reflection in seeing the 'race before us.' Linhart's conclusion reminds us of the end-goal, the telos of the race—a lifetime of faithful service to Jesus. Between these, Linhart describes potential blind spots as we consider ourselves, our past, our temptations, our emotions, pressures, conflict, and our 'margins.'
One of the most helpful things about naming these areas of blind spots is how comprehensive it is (though probably not exhaustive). Leaders may be self-aware about one area, but inattentive to another. Linhart does a good job of naming the trees so we can see our way ahead. I also appreciate that he doesn't see blind spots as wholly negative. "We may have a gift or opportunity that we can't see that is plain to others" (26). By probing our limited visibility, we may be awakened to new opportunities.
. One insight that I found tremendously helpful was his observation that leaders ought to lead the charge in handling conflict well, in order to foster a community that is 'warm, inviting and effective' (143). Linhart describes conflict as one of his own blind spots (as someone who tends toward conflict-avoidance). He offers sage advice on how to address conflict non-defensively, and communicate effectively.
This book is tremendously helpful. Leaders and leadership teams would benefit from reading this together. I highly recommend it. -★★★★★
Notice of Material Connection: I received this book from InterVarsity Press in exchange for my honest review
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Terry walks us through practical steps, using interesting stories and life examples,...Read more