The Making of a Leader, by Robert Clinton.
There are five basic phases each spiritual leader goes through in his or her development. In Phase 1, “Sovereign Foundations,” God prepares a person before they are aware of what he is doing. Phase 2, “Inner-Life Growth” usually begins with a conversion to Christianity. The potential leader is “checked” in his/her integrity, obedience and word (the ability to understand the word of God). There are 4 steps in Phase 3, “Ministry Maturing Process.” A leader must enter ministry and be trained (formally or informally). Third, he must learn relationally (usually through difficult circumstances and conflict). Finally, he must discern how he uniquely fits into the Kingdom of God, usually through a series of challenges (faith, prayer, influence, etc.). After many years, a leader will enter Phase 4, “Life Maturing Process” where his integrity combined with giftedness have been honed over many years. Here, the spiritual authority comes from who the person is, not what the person does. Leaders must develop a philosophy of ministry over time to be effective. The lack of leadership in our current world is troubling and we should return to leadership development practices for the good of our society and church.
What a great book. Robert Clinton has done us all a great favor by outlining the process of leadership development. With summary statements and practical application questions at the end of each chapter, this resource is easy to use and consult. The stories and illustrations mainly revolve around a few people (Watchman Nee, for example), and unless the reader is quite familiar with these leaders and their work, the connection may be a little difficult to make. Certainly the author is quite enamored with these leaders, but he gave little reason why they should be our examples rather than others. Nonetheless, there is much wisdom to be learned from this little book.