Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Christ-Centered Leadership

Some books grab you by the cover. This is despite the common knowledge that we should not judge a book so.

Some books grab you by the title. It's sharp, witty or currently relevant.

Some books grab you by the author, because you are familiar with something they've written before.

But some books grab you by content. Such is the case with Christ-Centered Leadership: The Incarnational Difference by David L. McKenna. I was handed this book by my conference superintendent and instantly wondered if this would be a book I would have to read. (No one tell my superintendent I said that.)

Though I always have a stack of books waiting to be read, I felt an urge to move this up to the top. Convenient, since I was given the book the day after I had just completed a couple of others I had been reading.

McKenna is from the same corner of the Church that I am, so I had heard his name before, though this is hist first book I have read. He has served as president at three different colleges. Now retired, he writes about Christian leadership with a breadth of experience and wisdom. But he understand, right from the beginning, that Christian leadership must have something different to offer.

"If Christian leadership development separates itself from secular theory at any point, it is at the cross of Christ."

He then uses Philippians 2:5-11 as the standard for which all leaders must strive. 'You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.' Using that as a starting point, we journey through those 7 verses to discover what Jesus modeled for all of us.

Using his own journey as an example, McKenna leads us deep into the mind of Christ, sharing both positive and negative examples. He concludes by discussing the incarnate model of Christ and how difficult it is to live out.

Discussing our calling, I liked that he did not mince words but provided a set of very difficult questions that every leader should be asking and asked. He gets very personal when talking about how connected our calling is to our passion. In fact, it is vital to the success of our mission.

Some leadership books can cause weariness just by reading the title. This one will give you a sense that you're with David in person, just relaxing and sharing stories. That makes this a book I would recommend.

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