Some Simple (but not Simplistic) Summer Reading, part 2

As our country prepares for the presidential election, there will, no doubt, be a lot of conversation about leadership. For the next 5 months, there will be all kinds of talking heads talking about what kind of leadership qualities are necessary in a president.

But it’s not just the folks at the top who need to better understand, and live out, leadership. All of us could benefit from a better understanding of that. For true leadership isn’t about the leader, but the led. As the writer and pastor Eugene Peterson puts it, the leader should ask him/herself: “Who are these particular people, and how can I be with them in such a way that they can become what God is making them?”

To that end, let me commend to you two articles that help us see leadership, and those we lead, in a very helpful light. These articles come from Randy Gariss, who also wrote some helpful stuff on the personal element of faith. (In fact, I blogged about those last week; if you haven’t read those yet, let me encourage you to start with those two. You can find them here, and here.)

The first one on leadership, simply asks the question: How Should We Define Leadership? In this article, Randy Gariss gives us 3 models of leadership: The Storefront Model, The Foreman Model, and The Shepherd Model. All 3 are prevalent today, but only one is true, faithful leadership. I’ll bet you can guess which one; read the article, though, to find out why.

The second article also asks a question: How Do We Make Disciples Who Look Like Jesus? Whether you have a title or not is not the point – all of us should be leading someone. And if you are going to lead anyone, how is it done? The truth is, all of us who are followers of Jesus should be helping at least one person learn how to follow him, too. Randy offers a simple, but not simplistic, perspective on how that happens. Read it, and be encouraged to tune your life into the ways you can lead others.

So, four simple articles that, frankly, are foundations for much of what we who follow Jesus are called to become, and do. If, after reading these four, you’re ready for more, you can find more of Randy’s writings here.


I’m Jeff Dye. After 16 years on staff at a healthy, outreach-minded church, I currently have a ministry called The Paraklesis Project. In the New Testament, “paraklesis” means encouragement — which is what I seek to bring to churches of all sizes through speaking and consulting.

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