Why This Book?

The Battle For Your Soul

There is a battle going on for the souls of Christian leaders. The greater our success, the wider our renown, the more people under our influence, the more seductive the attractions of power, and the more vulnerable we are to self-deception. Just ask those who have succumbed to such temptations, or those who have been the unwitting victims of such leaders.

Week after week the news media assault us with one leadership failure after another. Christian leaders are as likely as secular ones to be guilty of corrupt leadership, toxic leadership, abusive leadership, predatory leadership… The list goes on.

Why should these tragic failures be so prevalent among leaders who profess to be followers of Jesus?

Why are Jesus’ life and teaching not penetrating more deeply into our hearts and permeating our practice as Christian leaders?

Pause a moment.

How would you answer these questions?

What has your experience been as a leader yourself, and as you have observed other leaders?

Scroll down to see some ideas I have about why these tragic failures continue to happen and why Jesus’ life and teaching aren’t penetrating more deeply.

First, and most importantly, many Christian leaders today lack confidence that Jesus has much to teach us about leadership in the 21st century. So we are not inclined to seek wisdom about how to lead from the Gospels.

Second, what we do understand about Jesus’ approach to leadership is often misguided and simplistic: contemporary teaching and writing puts so much emphasis on his role as a servant that we miss his far more fundamental role as the Good shepherd.

Third, when we miss Jesus’ emphasis on shepherding, we are equally likely to miss our responsibility to invest in emerging leaders within our sphere of influence. Instead, we delegate the responsibility for developing leaders to a human resource department or a training team.

If you listen to younger leaders from around the world, of whatever color or culture, they all tell the same story: “We are hungry for meaningful friendships with older leaders to know them and learn from them. But very few older leaders are open to such friendships with us.”

Is it any wonder we have such a shortage of godly leaders in our churches and agencies?

[Read more in the Introduction to Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus.]