CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SPIRITUAL FORMATION
Part of the LifeandLeadership.com ministry resources on Christian Leadership.
Leadership development is a universally recognized necessity for all leadership styles and approaches, especially with transformational leadership and empowerment. Ministry resources convey the theme that leaders must develop in at least two ways. First, and most important, is their walk with God through the experiences of life. This concentrates not so much on the “doing” as the “being” of the leader. It stresses the importance of an authentic walk with God and genuine spirituality which manifests itself through an increasingly Christ-like character, and consistently high standards of ethical and moral conduct. The second area of leadership development covers the skill sets necessary for leadership competence, encompassing both relational and task dimensions.
This resource guide, Leadership Development Through Spiritual Formation, highlights the growth of spiritual leaders through their attentiveness to the movement of God in their lives. The featured resources integrate spiritual growth, leadership theory, and psychological development as it pertains to leaders.
**Resources listed in recommended order, unless alphabetical
- Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership. Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry — This is one of the richest developments available on the theme of leadership spiritual formation. Barton’s weaves all of the dimensions of growth into one resource.
- Henry Cloud and John Townsend, How People Grow: What the Bible Reveals About Personal Growth – A very theologically grounded look at the process of personal growth, emphasizing the biblical message of sanctification.
- Robert A. Fryling and Eugene H. Peterson, The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How We Lead by Who We Are — Helps leaders engage the outer world of leadership expectations from a deeper spiritual center, and to find congruence between what they long to be before God and what their external circumstances compel them to be.
- Jim Herrington, Robert Creech, and Trisha Taylor, The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation — Perhaps the best integration of spiritual formation and emotional systems toward personal transformation and congregational leadership.
- Roger Heuser and Norman Shawchuck, Leading the Congregation: Caring for Yourself While Serving the People — Still unsurpassed in demonstrating the complex relationship between a leader’s spiritual and psychological wholeness and the functioning of the congregation. Part I, “Leading from Within,” is an excellent primer on spiritual formation for church leaders. One may also find helpful sections on leader formation in the first part of Shawchuck’s companion volume, Managing the Congregation.
- Karen A. McClintock, Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations – Discusses the propensity of church leaders and their congregations toward shame and perfectionism, and offers insight on how to help both live out of the lavish provisions of God’s grace. Discusses how ministers and churches may keep from pushing each other into shame-based patterns.
- Gary L. McIntosh, Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures — The most comprehensive look at the five dysfunctional personalities commonly found in ministers, and how to keep them from becoming a destructive force in the lives of leaders and/or the congregations they lead.
- Reggie, McNeal, Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders — A perceptive and challenging guide to the seven disciplines found consistently in those who excel as leaders.
- Peter Scazzero and Warren Bird, The Emotionally Healthy Church: A Strategy for Discipleship That Actually Changes Lives, Expanded Edition – This text, alongside the companion volume, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, are excellent integrations of psychology and contemplative spirituality.
- Resource Guide on Minister Self-Care – Lists several resources that share an emphasis in leadership development through spiritual formation.
This is one of several Pathways to Leadership Development that are featured on LifeandLeadership.com:
- Christian Leadership Development in Congregations, Theory and Practice
- Christian Leadership Development Through Spiritual Formation
- Christian Leadership Development Through Character Formation
- Christian Leadership Development Through Life Experience
- Christian Leadership Development Through Self-Awareness
- Christian Leadership Development Through Life Effectiveness
- Christian Leadership Development Through Communication Competence
- Christian Leadership Development Through Failure and Setback
- Christian Leadership Development Over Life Span — J. Robert Clinton Leadership Emergence Theory (separate page)
See also the Leadership Index and the overall Ministry Resource Index for annotated guides on over 100 related issues. LifeandLeadership.com will expand significantly on this resource list in the section on Spiritual Formation which is in development.