Friday, December 03, 2010

Organic leadership - a brief review

I've just finished reading Neil Cole's book Organic Leadership: Leading Naturally Right Where You Are. Overall I thought it was a good book, and it ended much better than it started.

As for details, it is 304 pages. It read fairly well, and I like that it has short chapters. I like to read a book a chapter at a time, and let it soak in. So it was good for that. I didn't have to stop in the middle of a chapter or anything. However, it could have been quite a bit shorter without so many stories. Not that I'm opposed to stories, and I realize that they just don't do as much for me as they do for others - so it's not a problem - but almost every chapter started out with a story from a movie; and sometimes it seemed to drag things down. But, again, I know it was probably necessary. It wasn't for me though.

The book was broken into five sections, with sections and chapters as follows:
Section One: The Counterfeit Kingdom of Outside In: Weeds That Infiltrate the Garden of Christian Leadership

1. On Being Institutionalized: Depending on the Walls That Imprison You
2. Slaves Are Made in Such Ways: The Corruption of Christian Leadership
3. Pharisaism Today: Protecting the Powerful
4. Still in the Dark Ages: Contributing to Ignorance in the Name of Scholarship
5. Bound by the Chain of Command: Messed Up from Top to Bottom
6. Viewing Life through Faulty Lenses: False Dichotomies That Obscure Our Vision of Reality
7. Parasites on the Body of Christ: Why Some Ministries Suck... Literally!

Section Two - The Inside-Out Kingdom: Growing Leadership from Within

8. The Secret of Leaders: Or, Where We Start Makes All the Difference
9. Organically Grown Leaders: Healthy Leadership Emergence
10. Leadership Success: Goals of Organic Leadership

Section Three - The Upside-Down Kingdom: Navigating a Correct Leadership Trajectory

11. The New "Up" Is "Down": The Paradoxical Kingdom
12. Lead, Follow, and Get Out of the Way: Authority Worth Following
13. Downwardly Mobile: Following Christ to Humility and Exaltation
14. Incarnational Leadership: Christ's Life in You

Section Four - The Side-by-Side Kingdom: Recipes for Homegrown Leadership

15. Knowledge Is Not Power: Holistic Leadership Development and Theological Education
16. The Secret to Leading Leaders: Following a Middle School Master
17. Wax On and Wax Off: Life-on-Life Mentoring Skills
18. Catalysts for Real Change: Leadership Tools That Multiply Impact
Section Five - The Plugged-in Kingdom: The Life, Power, and Provision in God's Upside-down Kingdom

19. Embrace Death as If Your Life Depends on It: The Cure for All That Ails Us
20. Jesus and the Man-Purse: Payment for Service in the Church

Conclusion: Rare Heroes for a New Day

To be perfectly honest, some of the chapters didn't live up to what I was expecting based on the headings. But all-in-all I thought it was a good book with lots of practical advice for any church leaders wanting to make a change from the traditional, institutional model of "doing" church, to a more incarnational way of "being" the church. Personally, some of the stories in the conclusion sent chills down my spine. They were just the sort of thing I had visions of when I first felt God gripping my heart for church leadership. So, even though this was an assigned reading for me, I'm glad I read it and feel like I picked up some good and practical ideas (I have blogged about several of them in previous posts).

Peace out, my friends; and in.