I normally don’t like to read books on leadership. I find that they generally fall into one or more of the following categories: Secular leadership books filled with un-and-anti-Biblical advice, Christian leadership books that are trying to be like the secular ones but with some proof texts sprinkled in, or Biblical leadership books that are solid but are really only applicable to a senior pastor role.
With The Conviction to Lead, Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler has broken the mold, composing a book that is driven and grounded in a high view of Scripture as well as broad enough to speak to Christians in any sphere of leadership, not just the church.
The basic premise is clearly displayed in the book’s title – that more than skill, personality, methods, and opportunities, it is the conviction to lead that is preeminent to being a successful, faithful, and Christ-honoring leader. Stating that “true leadership starts with a purpose, not a plan,” Mohler seeks to bring together and empower two groups of people in the Christian leadership world – those who are believers and those who are leaders. He says,
“If our leaders are not passionately driven by the right beliefs, we are headed for disaster. At the same time, if believers cannot lead, we are headed nowhere. My goal is to redefine Christian leadership so that it is inseperable from passionately held beliefs, and to motivate those who are deeply commited to truth to be ready for leadership.”
Mohler succeeds brilliantly with his goal, grounding much of his advice and exhortation in his real life experience of turning almost singlehandedly the historic Southern Baptist Seminary from a being a bastion of Liberal theology to being a flagship of Biblical faithfulness that it has now become.
I would put this up there with Oswald Sanders’ book as one of the best on Christian leadership. I look forward to returning to it often and recommending it to others.
“We do not believe in belief any more than we have faith in faith. We believe the gospel, and we have faith in Christ. Our beliefs have substance and our faith has an object.”
“You can divide all leaders into those who merely hold an office or position and those who hold great convictions”