Spiritual Leadership – Moving People on to God’s Agenda

Book Review by Dr. Barbara Louw

Authors: Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby

First Edition: 2001

Revised & Expanded Edition: Nashville, B&H Publishing Group, 2011.

Henry Blackaby is the founder and president emeritus of Blackaby Ministries International, an organization built to help people experience God. He is also the author of the book Experiencing God.

Richard Blackaby is the president of Blackaby Ministries International and eldest son of Henry Blackaby. He is a well-respected author of dozens of books on spiritual leadership.

Spiritual Leadership is one of Henry and Richard Blackaby's most highly regarded and best- selling books to date. In this book they are encouraging leaders in business and church to follow God's design for success.

This book is listed as one of the most influential writings on the topic of how God develops, guides, and empowers spiritual leaders. The leadership principles are applicable in workplaces, churches and seminary classrooms.

The authors explain that this book was not written in a few months, but over a lifetime. They concede their journey with outstanding people who shared their extraordinary experiences and insights with them through conversations in conference centres, churches, and airplanes around the world.

Throughout the book they emphasise that leadership is about people who choose to make a difference. They studied the Scriptures, as well as the lives of effective leaders, both contemporary and historical, to identify clear biblical principles that lead to effective leadership. The guiding principles they propose are for all Christians whom God has called to be spiritual leaders.

The chapters in the book are compiled to address the leader’s challenge; role and preparation. I consider chapter 4 to be very important because they deal with the leader’s vision in terms of where do leaders get their vision and how do they communicate their vision. Other chapter topics include the leader’s goals; character; influence and decision making. They also address leadership and change, as well as the leader’s pitfalls and rewards.

Every chapter concludes with as section that allows response to the material. This allows readers to become participants by answering thought provoking questions such as “Do you have a reputation for serving those you lead, or are you known for demanding service from others? What is one thing you could begin doing to serve your people that would clearly demonstrate your concern for them?”

I recommend this book for all pastors and counsellors who have the longing to be a genuine spiritual leader in the Kingdom of God.

“Spiritual leadership is not an occupation: it is a calling” (2011:xiv).