SBTS Press releases ‘Essential Reading on Leadership’

Communications Staff — April 11, 2018

The secular world is preoccupied with leadership in the abstract, writes R. Albert Mohler Jr. in a new book from SBTS Press. The church’s approach to leadership is different, though — it comes from a passionate love for the church and a strong desire to teach God’s people. Essential Reading on Leadership, released today, challenges pastors and ministers to cultivate this kind of leadership.

Drawn from Southern Equip, a web-based resource from Southern Seminary that extends faculty training beyond the school’s classrooms, the book is a collection of articles about leadership written by SBTS faculty, some alumni, and instructors.

In its first chapter, Mohler explains that 20th century Christianity was often too dependant on the pragmatic and efficient concerns of the secular business world. The church desperately needs leadership, he writes, but it doesn’t come from leadership gurus. It comes from the Word of God.

“Conviction — the knowledge of truth that transforms — is the bedrock of Christian leadership,” Mohler wrote. “The minister leads, most importantly, by the faithful teaching and preaching of the Word of God. The New Testament reveals a model of ministerial leadership that is based on biblical convictions and driven by a passion to see Christ’s people follow in faithful obedience.”

Essential Reading on Leadership features chapters explaining what motivates godly leaders (“Leaders, find your identity in Christ” by Jeremy Rhoden) and practical suggestions for directing the church effectively (“Making the most of Sunday morning conversations” by Brian Croft and “How to deal with a church disrupter” by Thom S. Rainer). Mohler contributed a chapter about the leadership of former British prime minister, Winston Churchill, and Nikki Daniel, a graduate of Southern Seminary and a pastor’s wife from Augusta, Georgia, wrote a chapter about the two lies every pastor’s wife needs to stop believing. The book also includes resources for further reading on leadership.

Randy Stinson, provost and professor of leadership and family ministry at Southern Seminary, contributed an article on how a man can lead his home and community spiritually. Stinson offered nine expositional reflections on leadership from Ephesians 5, providing a roadmap for godly leadership in the home from vision and instruction to evaluation and correction. Each step flows from a strong conviction regarding the man’s role as the leader, provider, and protector in the home, Stinson writes.

“Leadership needs to be done in a particular way and with particular care,” he wrote. “You can’t just do it however you want to. God has given men a responsibility, and Scripture shows us what that involves.”

Matthew J. Hall, senior vice president for academic strategy at Southern Seminary and dean of Boyce College, contributed a chapter to the collection urging leaders not to lead alone. In his chapter titled, “Every leader needs this kind of friend,” Hall wrote that good friendships are vital to good leadership, noting that true friends tell the truth, are motivated by love, and are loyal even when leadership fails.

“Friendship is more than a luxury afforded only to the fortunate few,” he wrote. “It is part of what it means to be human, to live a good life. And leaders are not, thanks be to God, exempt from the divine design.”

Essential Reading on Leadership is available in print and digital editions at


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