cover image The Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future

The Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future

Andy Stanley. Multnomah Publishers, $16.99 (160pp) ISBN 978-1-59052-046-8

Stanley, pastor of the North Point Community Church (""median age of 30"") and author of Like A Rock, has made a ministry out of giving advice to people slightly younger than himself, and in this tepid leadership sermon he distills his wisdom into five core principles. Competence, Courage, Clarity, Coaching and Character, he says, are the keys to influencing future leaders. Stanley's advice--focus on what you do best and delegate the rest, seek out the counsel of coaches, don't let success blind you to what's right and wrong--is very sound, if not much of a departure from any other brand of leadership advice. His precepts are often illustrated with Bible stories about leaders like David (courage), Joshua (clarity) and King Rehoboam (paying heed to elders). Less stirring are Stanley's first-hand leadership anecdotes, too many of which involve the travails of boosting seating capacity in the worship center, unsnarling traffic flows in the church campus or shipping inspirational books and tapes during the Christmas rush. (Such examples impart an unintended lesson, which is that the size and complexity of today's mega-churches and multi-media ministries force Christian leaders to view them through the lens of business administration.) And, while studiously cultivating one's leadership abilities is good for the character, reading about such growth can be a dull task.