The Book on Leadership by John MacArthur was a solid read. I had to get past the title of the book because it seemed a little over the top. I could just see some guy who hates MacArthur holding up a bible and saying, "Excuse me, but I think THIS is the book on leadership!!" But other than that, it was amazing.
The entire book is a character study of Paul with insights into other biblical characters as opportunity presented itself. The book is split into 4 sections.
1) Paul in Chains: Leadership in Action
2) Paul in Corinth: Leadership Under Fire
3) An Approved Workman: Leadership Held to a Biblical Standard
1) "Paul in Chains" is a look at Paul's trip to Ceasarea from Rome because of Paul's appeal to Ceasar (Acts 27). This shows how Paul rose to a position of leadership from his imprisoned state at the bottom of the ship, rowing with other slaves and prisoners. Throughout all the trials he endured and the shipwreck, Paul proved himself to be a leader.
2) "Paul in Corinth" is a look at how Paul served the Corinthians and cared for them in the midst of their doubting his apostleship under the guidance of false prophets. This demonstrated a leaders ability to be gentle or firm depending on the circumstances and what they require.
3) "An Approved Workman" demonstrates that the chief attributes needed in a leader are discipline, self-control and integrity (all of those are interdependent on one another). This was my favorite part of the entire book. More on that later.
4) "Epilogue" puts forth the different people that will be in a leaders life. Some will come alongside to serve, some will come alongside to learn and be equipped, then be sent out, and some will betray you after you have poured into their lives.
Chapter 10, "How Not to be Disqualified" was by far my favorite chapter. It spoke of self-discipline and training your body. I felt like I was sitting in a room with John Macarthur as I read this chapter. He gave some practical helps for self discipline and I will share those with ya.
-Get organized - organize everything from your desk to your time throughout the day. Make a plan and follow it.
-Use time wisely - Simply put, a leader doesn't waste time. "See then that you walk circumspectantly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph. 5:15-16
-Find ways to be edified rather than merely entertained - "Devote yourself specially in your leisure time to to the task of cultivating humility, repentance, holiness, and fear of God."
-Pay attention to small things - don't overlook what seem like mundane tasks. See it and get it done.
-Accept extra responsibility - in other words, don't hesitate to volunteer if something needs to be done.
-Once you start something, finish it
-Keep your commitments
-Tell yourself no from time to time - "Gain control of your own appetites by denying yourself pleasures you are otherwise entitled to (ice-cream anyone?)
This book has shaped the way I view life; no kidding. Mac is sweetly pastoral as he writes this and I immensely enjoyed it. I found myself recognizing the values mentioned throughout the book in many other people, including myself (not prideful, just identifying what gifts the Lord has given me). One of the things that really hit home was the need for a leader to recognize that he is a leader and that he has been called. If you aren't confident in your calling from God and in your role as a leader, you will never fulfill what you are called to.
I absolutely loved the way that MacArthur pulled all of the leadership qualities directly from the life of Paul. I feel like I know Paul better, the New Testament better, and I feel like I am more equipped to be a leader in a church after reading this book. This book really enables you to get into the life of Paul. You can almost feel his pain and understand what he was going through. Mac really helps by filling in the gaps of Paul's life that the NT doesn't contain. It is truly an engaging book and of course it is saturated with scripture. As you read, you know that you are learning from the life of MacArthur, and all that he has endured as a leader and a pastor. If you think that the Lord is calling you to a leadership position anywhere in life, this book is for you.
Posted by Ryan Bebee at 5:22 PM