COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP

Bill Hybels, Author . Zondervan $19.99 (253p) ISBN 978-0-310-24823-1

By any standard contemporary measure, Hybels ranks among the North American Protestantism's most significant leaders. As senior pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., he leads an all-star team of lay and ordained people ministering to tens of thousands each week. Through his other books (among them Rediscovering Church and Descending into Greatness), and through the Willow Creek Association, he influences thousands of congregations. So his voice on the subject of leadership commands immediate attention. Fortunately, after 30 years, he's got something worthwhile to say—and better yet, he says it well. Written in an easy, colorful, anecdote-sprinkled style, this is an inspiring and informative pep talk for pastors who share Hybels's conviction that when it's working right, the "local church is the hope of the world." That hope hinges, he says, on churches being led by those who "possess and deploy the spiritual gift of leadership." While not theologically deep or biblically rigorous, it is full of wise principles, useful lists and practical leadership tips. Hybels covers some of the same territory as other leadership books—styles of leadership, team-building, decision-making, developing emerging leaders, etc. — but he does so remarkably free of the double-talk and jargon that so often plague them. For example, he graciously disagrees with those leadership gurus who distinguish between a "vision" statement, a "mission" statement, and a "purpose" statement. What folks really need to know and remember, says Hybels, is "the main thing." This is a welcome addition to any pastor's library. (Sept.)

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