Monday, December 17, 2007

Book Review - A Christian Leader's Guide to Leading with Love by Alexander Strauch

My first exposure to Alexander Strauch came back in 1987 when my friend Bob Hodel urged me to read a copy of a new book called Biblical Eldership. I loved the concept of the book and ate it up that summer back in Canada as I prepared to return to The Master’s College, now feeling more called than ever to pastoral ministry.

Strauch’s new book, A Christian Leader’s Guide to Leading with Love is another excellent offering in the realm of Biblical leadership. This book is very simple, yet very profound in it’s premise. Concentrating primarily on the writings of Paul, Strauch looks at the descriptions and commands of love and applies them to pastoral leadership. I don’t know, maybe others have thought in this category before, but Strauch’s disarming style, careful exegesis and balanced application were rather groundbreaking for me!

I chose to read this book slowly, working on different aspects of love as I progressed, and found it a wonderful study. Strauch knows churches – sheep and shepherds – and he writes this book as a seasoned soldier who smiles through his battle scars. I kept having the sense that my old friend Walter was writing!

I would recommend this book for every church leader – but elders in particular. It would make an excellent study to be used at the start of each elder meeting. The chapter could be read at the meeting and discussed or one of the men might make a summary of the contents and present that to the others. If nothing else, it would be a great book to buy all your elders for their own encouragement.

You don’t need to limit this book to the “set apart” leaders in your church, though! Far from it. “Love” is a central topic to Christianity as a whole, thus any believer would benefit from this careful study.

I hope Mr. Strauch writes more. He has already blessed the church with much!