I think a lot about leadership. One, because I recently was married and I desire to know how to lead my wife in a Christlike, God-honoring way; and two, my job as youth pastor requires that I know something about leadership since I am, well, the leader. Interestingly, however, I didn’t actually plan to immerse myself in leadership material. It just kind of happened. I know, I know, I’m supposed to be more disciplined. I supposed to write a thorough list of books that I want to read, separate them by category, and then begin a carefully planned reading regiment. And to be honest, I LOVE stuff like that: the whole planning, organizing, separating by category thing, (just ask my good friend Bobby) but this time, it just, like I said, kind of happened.
First, my mom got me The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur. It was my birthday, we were at the local Christian book store and, well, I like Johnny Mac. I was sure that I would get some good, solid, Biblical help from my former pastor. And I was right. MacArthur takes the reader through significant events in the life of Paul, beginning in Acts 27 and continuing into II Corinthians, providing insight into Paul’s leadership ability and personal character as it is demonstrated in his dealings with pagan sailors, false teachers, and immature Christians.
He also takes a short detour towards the beginning of the book to look into the life of Nehemiah in order to glean some wisdom from Nehemiah’s effort to rebuild the wall. The end result is an extremely practical, Biblically saturated guide into true leadership. From the life of Paul and Nehemiah, MacArthur derives 26 characteristics of a true leader. Especially helpful is an appendix on page 209 which provides the list of the 26 characteristics in the order in which they appear in the book.
Another very helpful portion of this book is where MacArthur elaborates on the principle that a “Leader is disciplined” (147). On pages 152 through 157, MacArthur gives eight specific, practical ways in which a person can discipline himself or herself: Get organized; use time wisely; find ways to be edified rather than merely entertained; pay attention to small things; accept extra responsibility; once you start something, finish it; keep your commitments and tell yourself no from time to time.
Overall, the book is extremely helpful and practical and will be very encouraging for those who desire to be true leaders. I highly recommend it!