Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review - Basic Christian Leadership by John Stott

I bought Basic Christian Leadership by John Stott by accident. I was in the IVP book club and failed to cancel the automatic payment that month. When it came in the mail I decided to keep it rather than go through the hassle of sending it back.

I picked this book out of my stack of unread books by accident. It is a relatively small book and I needed one that would fit in the tray of my treadmill. This is not the way I normally choose my books, but it worked out this time.

From the title, I guessed this would be a typical book of leadership techniques. Those can sometimes be interesting and helpful - or at least entertaining. But this book is actually an exposition of 1Corinthians 1-4. That surprised me. Since I was just beginning a series of sermons on 1Corinthians, this grabbed my attention right away.

Stott does a masterful job of reviewing and explaining these chapters. He rightly considers them a pattern for how the church should relate to her leaders and the leaders to the church. Thus this is a book about Basic Christian Leadership. As I read the book I wondered when exactly Stott had developed this as a book on leadership. What specific observations of the modern church moved him to think of 1Corinthians as an important model for our time?

We live in a day of superstar preachers. It is amazing to realize that some of these superstars are multi-million dollar franchises in their own right. Not only do they draw a viewing audience in the tens of thousands, but they bring in millions through sales of CDs, self help books, and coffee mugs.

I'm not sure these were what Stott had in mind when he wrote this book, but it is easy to draw contrasts between these and the teaching of 1Corinthians. The church should not be cheering for one leader or another, but united in the pursuit of Christ. The leaders are only tools that God uses to plant and water. God Himself is the source of the increase.

This is a good and thought provoking book.

1 comment:

MomE said...

I suppose in some ways believing in "accidents" is like believing in "luck." Glad God had you read a book that "coincidentally" also was short and fit in your tread mill tray!