November 22nd, 2008
Reeder III, Harry L. and Rod Gragg. Reeder III, Harry L. and Rod Gragg. The Leadership Dynamic: A Biblical Model for Raising Effective Leaders. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2008. 191 pp. $12.99.
Perhaps one of the most oft-asked questions in the Christian blogosphere is where one should go to be trained in leadership. The arguments range from the seminary to the local church to the family. However, what is most notable is the “next generation” of preachers, of which I am one, cries out for training in this most important area of ministry and life. What is even more prominent is the reality that a quality biblical model of training the next generation of leaders is lacking in most churches.
Now, Harry Reeder, senior pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, has written a book that presents a biblical model for training this next generation of leaders. Along with Rod Gragg, a professor of history at Coastal Carolina University, Reeder shows from Scripture what it means to be a leader capable of changing the fabric of society.
Summary of The Leadership Dynamic
The first three chapters deal with what the Bible says about leadership. Chapter one shows how the biblical model of leadership is counter-cultural to what the world thinks a leader should be. Being a leader is supposed to be in the world but not of the world. It is something many Christians say, but do not apply to their lives. This is even truer when it comes to spiritual leadership.
The second section—arbitrarily called a section by me—helps to define what a leader is. After defining the leader, Reeder presents the marks of the effective Christian leader and then offers ways to become just that. Drawing from his own experiences, Reeder shows how the best leaders learn from their lives as well as others who have “been there, done that.”
The third section—again, arbitrarily—explains how to develop future leaders. This section needs to be read and understood by many of today’s pastors as well as that “next generation” so that we may pass the baton of faith that Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 2:2. Reeder places the role of leadership building squarely on the church where, if it is to be biblical, it should be.
The final chapter is perhaps the most important chapter in the book. In it, Reeder exhorts the leaders to know who the enemy is. The enemy is not that thick-headed deacon or the young seminarian who knows everything. The enemy is Satan and he is dangerous. If you are going to begin training leaders, you must prepare yourself for the war that will ensue.
This is a much needed resource. It should be in every pastor’s library. Any father who wants to train his children in the fear of the Lord would benefit from the information found within the pages of this book. As a young minister myself, I can recall feeling lost when it came to being thrusted into a position of leadership. Reading this book has helped to enlighten much of my ignorance. I would recommend this resource to anyone wanting to know what it means to be a godly leader.