Podcast S4, Ep. 7 – Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp

J.R. Waller, MBA

Introduction

In this episode of The Greater Heritage podcast we review Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp and published by Crossway.

Dr. Paul David Tripp is a pastor, event speaker, and a best-selling and award-winning author. With more than 30 books and video series on Christian living, Paul’s driving passion is to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life.

Review

Lead is a wonderful book on leadership that stands out in a crowded genre as a refreshing, God-focused book on Biblical leadership.

The book’s merit comes from the heart of its author. When it comes to ministry, pastors and leadership, Dr. Tripp clearly knows his stuff. He writes from the perspective of one who has experienced the tough real-world nature of ministry, including its propensity to churn and burn pastors and leaders.

His thesis for the book is centered around the fact that in his experience most pastors burn out and most ministries fail because the leadership communities surrounding such ministries are weak and ill-equipped for true Gospel-driven service.“Lead is a wonderful book on leadership that stands out in crowded genre as a refreshing, God-focused book on Biblical leadership.”

As such, throughout the book he sheds light on and expounds upon 12 different attitudes of successful leadership communities – achievement, Gospel, limits, balance, character, war, servants, candor, identity, restoration, longevity and presence – in order to help strengthen both leaders and their ministries.

The book is filled with real-life examples from the author’s ministry career. These are both practical and informative. Throughout Dr. Tripp also makes good use of asking the reader if his or her leadership communities or ministries are like the ones he is describing which allows readers to engage with the book’s content and apply it to their unique situations.

Also, a healthy dose of lists of Bible verses and leadership qualities complement many of the chapters, giving readers nice reference material to go back to for quick quality bits of information.

One of the greatest takeaways from the book is how it’s principles acknowledge and demonstrate how God’s way of doing things, even in ministry, turns our naturally inclined notions of how we should do things on their heads.

Thus the book continually reinforces to the reader how God’s ways truly are not our ways and how that’s a good thing.

For example, we tend to measure the success of our ministries and lives around performance and results, but God cares more about our character. For God success and failure in ministry are defined by our faithfulness, not our results.“One of the greatest takeaways from the book is how it’s principles acknowledge and demonstrate how God’s way of doing things, even in ministry, turns our naturally inclined notions of how we should do things on their heads.”

When it comes to communication, where we want to conceal, God wants us to confess. God even changes our natural routines to be in line with his. Where we want to go go go God wants us to respect and honor the time limits he has placed on us, and contrary to what we think and as Dr. Tripp points out, we actually can balance family and work and at the same time leverage rest.

Another striking point that the book makes is how we often wrap our identities in ministry when our identities are to only be in and defined by Jesus. Moreover, when we define our identity in things other than Jesus, then fear, pride, emotional ups and downs and so forth ensue.

Throughout Lead there is a constant emphasis on submitting to and utilizing God’s “right here, right now” grace, and to having one’s focus on the vertical as opposed to the horizontal in life.

It is a book framed by an authentic understanding of ministries in all their messiness, but that also acknowledges that what we might find messy God considers his workroom of grace. We are just God’s tools, he does all the work, he produces all the fruit.

Conclusion

For its refreshing attention on the importance of hearts, attitudes, motivations and character as they each pertain to leadership, and for its tendency to go against the grain and present leadership Biblically in a character over performance mindset, Lead comes highly recommended as a general Biblical leadership book and especially as a ministry one.

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Intro and outro music provided by Five Minute Plan. Be sure to check them out!

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this review are solely those of the reviewer. They do not represent any endorsement from the publisher or retailer. Image © Copyright 2021 Crossway.

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