Usually I’m not a big fan of books that start with fictional stories. Andy Stanley’s Communicating for a Change for instance was superb because of the last part, the story at the start didn’t do much for me. It was the same with other books, like Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager for instance. The reason is that I love stories, I love fiction, but it’s not meant to get a lot of information across. In writer’s terms that’s known as infodumping and it pulls the reader out of the story.
But I have to admit that the story Leading Up starts with about junior high pastor Logan and his struggles to get his vision across in his church was helpful. I think a lot of youth ministry pastors will recognize elements of his story and journey. Still, it was the second part of the book in which author and youth pastor Joel Mayward explained the concepts of Leading Up that was the most useful for me.
Here are some of the helpful ideas and concepts Joel introduces:
- the importance of knowing who you are, your identity foundation
- the concept of humble confidence, which he explains really well and which I agree is crucial if you want to influence others, especially those above you
- relational equity: the idea of relationships as a bank account with withdrawals and deposits, a very helpful analogy to help build healthy relationships
- the tipping of ‘sacred cows‘, the things churches and ministries do ‘because we’ve always done it’
Leading Up is a great book, filled with both theoretical and practical wisdom for leaders. If you are starting out as a leader or if you are experiencing difficulty in getting your ideas across, or being accepted as ‘equal’ by for instance elders or the senior pastor, then read this book. Its principles are biblical and sound and will definitely help you grow as a leader.
(Disclaimer: I was given this book free of charge by The Youth Cartel who published Leading Up in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to like it, I just happened to do!)