Is what is culturally acceptable Biblically acceptable? Leveling the Church: Multiplying Your Ministry by Giving it Away attempts to determine that, and I believe the authors succeed. They approach this book by saying church leaders have not done their job. In fact, they have tried to do too much, rather than distributing the ministry to the people. An early illustration used in the book really captures the authors’ point:
“You’re the quarterback leading a team down the field. You’re the captain of the team, first among equals. You direct other players, read the situation, and keep everyone focused together in order to reach your common goal. No matter how talented you are, you’ll never succeed if you keep the ball and try to run it every time you line up. Sometimes you may see an opportunity to charge toward your goal, but most of the time you’re handing things off or passing them to other players who are open. Your team doesn’t exist to help you win. Your job is to help the team win.”
Fries and Maxfield go on to list 4 dangers that haunt the church: making ministry only for the professionals, valuing who is helping me over how I am helping the body, being independent and prideful while doing everything ourselves, and stepping up on the pedestal of “super-pastor.” This is written excellently and leads perfectly into the second half of the book, where the authors rely on the examples of Jesus, Moses, Paul, and Timothy in Scripture to give a Biblical model of what true leadership looks like.
To me, this book hit the nail on the head. Coming out of a full-time ministry position, one that I only held for about a month, I was hurting and trying to figure out what went wrong. It wasn’t until almost a year later that I learned many of the lessons contained in this book, and Leveling the Church really solidified those lessons for me. I give 5 stars out of 5 for an excellent and overall easy read to get through with tough lessons that must be learned by pastors and church leaders across the globe.
FTC Disclosure: I have received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are my own.