Logo

 

Banner Image:   Baptist-Times-banner-2000x370-
Template Mode:   Baptist Times
Icon
    Post     Tweet

 


Leading a Church to Maturity in Love by David R. Tomlinson

 

'An impressively wise and original book on church leadership: its advice resonated so closely with my lived experience as a minister'



Leading a Church to MaturityLeading a Church to Maturity in Love - A Theological and Practical Guide to Church Leadership

By David R. Tomlinson
Sacristy Press
ISBN: 978-1-78959-023-4
Reviewer: Rosa Hunt


This is an impressively wise and original book on church leadership. Its suggestions arise from the author’s many years’ experience of parish life. The examples he gives of situations in the life of the church left me nodding wryly in recognition – on one occasion, I actually wondered whether he had visited my church! This speaking out of experience lends weight to his recommendations.

There were three main ways in which I found this book startlingly original. Sometimes, books on church leadership seem to set the church up as a problem to be solved. This author has a radically different attitude - he loves his church and his people, and has committed to serving them faithfully and with respect. Flowing out of this position, Tomlinson insists that a good leader must first themselves be secure and grounded. Thus a large part of the book consists of examining the minister’s own emotions, relationships, sense of identity and spirituality.

And so finally, and most importantly to my mind, this book is original because it insists that church ministers can only be great leaders if they treat their own relationship with God as absolutely foundational, and of the utmost importance.

Tomlinson starts by using insights from systems thinking to understand how churches function. He then goes on to examine what it means to be a consultative leader, and how to serve in true humility. He then unpacks the importance of his conviction that leaders who enable others to grow are growing themselves, by considering topics such as modelling good conversations. The next few chapters are intensely practical, looking at coping with difficult individuals and groups, building teams and community, leading in conflict situations, being prepared to have difficult conversations, and learning to mediate. These are followed by chapters on collaboration with external bodies, and an important chapter on forgiveness. Having studied how a leader can lead a church to maturity in love, the final chapter is a theological reflection on how such a church can lead the world to maturity in love.

I trusted this author from the opening pages, because his advice resonated so closely with my lived experience as a minister over the last twelve years or so. I have learned so much from his distilled wisdom – not just about leading my church, but also about how I function as a leader, and why I react as I do in certain situations. I would recommend this book without hesitation to any minister or ministerial student.
 

Rosa Hunt, Capel Salem Tonteg / South Wales Baptist College




 
Baptist Times, 03/08/2019
    Post     Tweet
Carefully crafted to be both deeply theological and highly readable, this is an important book addressed directly to women experiencing domestic abuse, and to those who seek to support them
I think this is the best book I have read on church and mission for a long time, writes Simon Jones
Accessible explanation of Einstein's key work, and shows his comments on the nature of faith and religion are far more subtle than those of many of his critics
A very good and helpful Bible study guide from the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity
This book shows how the relationship between wellbeing and spirituality is studied by a range of disciplines including religious studies, theology, anthropology, psychology and history
This book belongs to the best material on the historical Jesus for church members and sceptics alike
     Reviews 
    Posted: 18/09/2020
    Posted: 15/01/2020
    Posted: 03/05/2019
    Posted: 25/04/2019
    Posted: 16/04/2019