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An Unhurried Leader: The Lasting Fruit of Daily Influence Hardcover – June 20, 2017
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"As my own leadership responsibilities have significantly increased in recent years, I can only say 'many thanks!' to Alan for offering such a timely, rooted, and integrated vision of the very real possibilities that exist for leaders who choose an unhurried life. It's all true! And it's an ongoing pursuit, which is why his book is so helpful. Rich with practical examples of practices to support this way of life and leadership, An Unhurried Leader is a great guide for anyone who seeks to lead from a place of overflow rather than deficit." (Mindy Caliguire, founder, Soul Care)
"In An Unhurried Leader, Fadling uses the Bible to unpack the wisdom of choosing to be led by Jesus as we lead others, so that our pace, ways, and results align with God's will. This is a book I highly recommend to everyone who is intentional about joining God at work and working God's way." (Jean Paul Ndagijimana, corporate chaplain, Lift Up Limited, Rwanda)
"At the heart of Christian spirituality is love. Jesus instructed us to love God and our neighbor. Paul said the greatest virtue is love. But love takes time―and time is the one thing a hurried leader does not have. The results of unloving, anxious, fear-based Christian leadership are now all around us, as seen in the culture-wide rejection of church. In An Unhurried Leader, Alan Fadling points the way out of hurried leadership that kills the souls of leaders. He reveals leadership steeped in spiritual abundance and joy. This is not a how-to book. This book lays out a path to becoming a better sort of person, who is then naturally a better kind of leader." (Todd Hunter, Anglican bishop, author of Christianity Beyond Belief)
"Alan set out to offer an inspiring vision of leadership that is less hurried and more fruitful, less hectic and more joyful―and that he did. With the biblical text as his consistent backdrop, each principle, practice, and suggested reflection creates a unique mosaic for every spiritual leader desirous of living an abundant life." (Stephen A. Macchia, founder and president of Leadership Transformations, and author of Broken and Whole)
About the Author
Alan Fadling (MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary) is president and founder of Unhurried Living, Inc. in Mission Viejo, California, inspiring people to rest deeper, live fuller, and lead better. He speaks and consults internationally with organizations such as Saddleback Church, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Cru, Halftime Institute, Apprentice Institute, and Open Doors International. He is the award-winning author of An Unhurried Life, honored with a Christianity Today Award of Merit in spirituality, and he is also a contributing author to Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willards Teaching on Faith and Formation. Fadling is a certified spiritual director, and he lives in Mission Viejo, California, with his wife Gem and their three sons.
Top customer reviews
I appreciated the thoughtful questions and practices offered with each chapter. This book would make an excellent group study.
The podcast that the author has at Unhurried Living offers interviews with a broad array of leaders that offer great insights into the Unhurried ways of God.
“Life moves pretty fast,” that great theologian Ferris Bueller once said. “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Three hundred years earlier, John Ray wrote something similar: “Haste makes waste, and waste makes want, and want makes strife between the good man and his wife.”
In short, we hurry to get more but end up getting less.
The solution is to slow down. Alan Fadling wrote about following Jesus’ rhythm of work and rest in his 2013 book, An Unhurried Life. Now, he returns with An Unhurried Leader to show what “grace-paced leadership” looks like. Hint: It isn’t hurried. Also, leadership isn’t limited to people with full-time ministry jobs. “We need not have a position of influence to be a person of influence,” he writes.
Fadling defines unhurried leadership as “a process of learning to work in harmony with the purposes of God. It is also the awareness that so much of what God does begins in people’s hearts.” Truly Christian leadership, in other words, is heart-work, and heart-work takes lots of time. This is true whether we’re talking about the hearts of the people we’re leading — or our own hearts.
For this reason, Fadling spends most of the book helping leaders unhurry. If we’re hasty with ourselves, we’ll be hasty with others, and we all know what haste makes. To unhurry us, Fadling turns to Scripture to show us what God’s purposes for us are and how those purposes change the way we lead others.
Chapter 5, “Questions That Unhurry Leaders,” made a deep impression on me, so let me share a bit more about it. Fadling uses the five questions Paul asks in Romans 8:31–35 to illuminate “deep truths” about life and leadership. Here are the questions and the truths about God’s purposes they demonstrate:
• “If God is for us, who can be against us?” demonstrates God’s “unfailing favor.”
• “How will he not also, along with Christ, graciously give us all things?” illuminates God’s “unfathomable generosity.”
• “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?” identifies God’s “unending justification.”
• “Who then is the one who condemns?” illustrates Christ’s “unceasing intercession” for us.
• “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” reminds us of God’s “unconditional love.”
These “deep truths” resonate with the soul of every Christian. What makes Fadling’s treatment of them unique is that he shows how they change the way we do leadership as Christians.
Take the first question, for example: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Fadling comments: “It’s remarkable how many Christian leaders have found themselves, in some blurry and ill-defined way, trying to earn God’s favor or to prove their worth to him or parents or a spouse, or perhaps to themselves. But God is already for us … If that’s true, then who or what in this world could effectively stand against us?”
Leaders who allow God’s favor, generosity, justification, intercession and love to sink deeply into their hearts lead differently than those who don’t. Their leadership comes to be marked by those same qualities as well. In that sense, unhurried leadership is “overflow leadership.” Citing John 7:37–39, Fadling writes: “What I bring to Jesus as a thirst can be transformed into more refreshment and life than I can possibly hold. That abundance, that excess, that overflow can become manifest in my work, my service, my leadership.”
The key thing, then, is for Christian leaders to let Jesus into their hearts. Does that sound too simple? Perhaps. Then again, I was amazed at how often An Unhurried Leader opened my eyes to things in my heart that are crowding out Jesus and thus misshaping my influence. I hope it will do the same for you.
In a day where so many speak of effectiveness, Fadling prefers that we look at fruitfulness instead. He unearths the often-buried scriptural truth that fruitfulness comes from abiding in Christ. If the Lord makes you fruitful, you will influence others and the task of leadership is fulfilled. He makes it all sound so simple while the work of communing with God is at once challenging and the very opposite of work. If that sounds confusing, just read the book.
He begins by asking us to be unhurried leaders who stop seeing activity as productivity. He exposes the subtle pride that we often present as spiritual leadership. He explains our blind spot of working for God instead of with God. He challenges us to lead from abundance–a concept we frankly don’t get. He gently scolds us to stop running from the thirst of our souls to unquenching activity.
There’s so much more. The chapter on prayer is the most insightful I’ve read in years. More than being condemned as most prayer treatises, I want to implement what he says.
Outstanding is an understatement for this book. 5-star plus gets a little closer. I hope many will read and follow and be helped as I was!
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.