The first half of the book is the symptoms of unhealthy leadership, really a nonbiblical, more business oriented model that has permeated the church for quite some time. Paid staff should be doing the majority of the ministry. Fries and Maxfield share the ways in which they fed into and off of this model. This book proposes Ephesians 4 to be the model of ministry in church instead of the Pastor being the end all be all. The pastors and staff should be equipping the saints to do the work of the saints. As I read the first half, my stress level was high, but how do you get people to apply this, especially leadership? The old ways are so engrained, especially in the rural settings we have had the privilege to minister in.
The second half of the book has biblical models of leadership. At first I was wondering how this is possible and then I watched as this model became a necessity with a pandemic. There was no way the lead pastor and staff could keep up with everyone, when literally every person was now homebound. People needed to step up and minister to their brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as their actual neighbors. The second half of this book does a great job of sharing about Jesus, Moses, Paul, and Timothy and their strengths as leaders. This book has much to teach leaders of how to equip the saints.
My frustrations with the beginning were more because it was such a specific context that the authors were in that it did not seem to translate to the ones we have been in, but by the second half I was thankful for the wisdom found in ways to empower and equip the body. I would recommend this to leaders and lay leaders in churches who are looking for ways to equip the Saints. I think this book is a good addition to the discussion.
I was given a copy to review from Moody Publishing