Published by Good Book Company on March 22, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Leadership
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"Well done, good and faithful servant. Every ministry leader wants to hear these words when they meet their Lord. But what does successful ministry look like?
There are many books on leadership strategies and church structures, but this one looks at what matters most: the character and attitude of church leaders. It recognizes that the spiritual health of the church leaders in large part determines the spiritual health of the congregation and therefore the success of the ministry.
In this short, punchy, challenging and at times surprising book, Rico Tice draws on decades of experience in church leadership to call fellow pastors and others with oversight of areas of church ministry to define success biblically, fight their sin, lead themselves and serve their churches.
A must-read on pastoral leadership for pastors, elders, worship leaders, youth leaders and anyone else with a leadership role in church ministry.
Faithful Leaders and the Things That Matter Most is just over a hundred pages long, and packs a powerful punch in short form. Rico Tice writes about the importance of rightly defining success in Christian ministry, fighting your sin, leading yourself, and serving others. In each chapter, he shares biblical reflections, personal experiences and observations, and wise advice that he has received from others. He primarily writes to an audience of fellow pastors, but the core messages apply to anyone in a leadership position, regardless of their background and specific duties. For that matter, the majority of what he writes applies to any Christian, and I especially appreciated his stern and loving warnings against secret sin.
His insights into self-leadership are also very practical and helpful. He writes about practical issues like the necessity of rest, dealing with anger and discouragement, and choosing wise words, and he provides personal examples of his struggles in these areas, keeping the book vulnerable, truthful, and wise. There are no platitudes here, just hard-won wisdom. Tice writes from a British context, and sometimes brings up specific issues and applications related to his background, but the core issues that he addresses are universal. He also emphasizes the importance of serving others and truly listening to them, even when you disagree, and he includes an afterword about ongoing revelations of sexual abuse within his context in the U.K. He urges fellow leaders to listen and respond to abuse claims instead of covering them up, further emphasizing his messages about truth and integrity.
Even though I am not in a church leadership position, I greatly appreciated this book. It is full of insightful reflections, practical examples, and helpful advice, and I would highly recommend it to pastors, other ministry leaders, and to laypeople. This book can help Christians develop a stronger sense of what kind of leadership to look for in a church, can make them more aware of institutional and personal red flags for dangerous leaders, and can encourage them as they pursue holiness and struggle towards the same goals of personal integrity, self-mastery, and loving service, whatever their contexts may be.