Let’s be honest: we need Christian books that express clear thoughts. And since we’re being honest, let’s agree that many books in the past several years have been anything but clear. The amount of what I call “Christian fog” that comes out of the keyboards of a lot of Christian authors astounds me. What we need is clear teaching, based solely on God’s Word and that is influenced as little as possible by cultural trends.
This type of teaching is found in several places but two come to my mind. One is among authors that aren’t “trending” (to “trend” you must appeal to the wider culture). Another place that clear, Biblical teaching can be found is in the writings of those who now lie in the cemetery. Today’s review is one such work.
Sam Stone’s book How to Be an Effective Church Leader begins with the statement, A congregation will not be greater than its leaders. From there, the reader is moved into several organized and clear chapters on what it takes to guide leaders in who they need to be in order for the church to be who it needs to be.
One thing that is important to know about this book is that it is based on the Word of God as the authority for what and who a church leader is and does. While Brother Stone does quote and reference those outside God’s Word, no one will miss that he holds the Bible as his highest authority in the life of church leaders.
Some highlights from the book are:
- Christ is the ultimate head of the church, having all authority over it in everything and church leaders are to be submitted to His authority
- Faith in and risk for Christ are essentials for church leaders
- Practical insight into what it means to have an efficient and beneficial meeting of church leaders
- How to endure as a leader when it feels like quitting would be a better option
The book ends with the following words: If the Christian leader is seeking first of all to follow Jesus . . . he will seek to be faithful to his responsibility, submitting to the Head of the church and seeking to obey His will faithfully every day.
This book brings the simple clarity that we need in our chaotic church culture. Church leaders would do well to take the time with others around them to work through this great book. Then again, someone who desires to be a church leader would also do well to spend a few hours solidifying the foundation they have in Christ so that they might, Lord willing, become an effective church leader.
Karl Halverson–, 55 years old, married, and a Christian for 43 years.