Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

Great Leadership Books

‘Of making many books there is not end…’ (Ecclesiastes 12:12).   Just enter any bookstore and look at the litany of leadership books filling the shelves.  I’m often asked to help leaders sort through the many and find the few best books on the subject of leadership.  Here’s my suggested list of foundational leadership books for someone who wants to get a good start on this challenging subject.  It’s a good start for building a leadership library.

Leadership Bibliography

Books to be read for a foundational understanding of leadership

 The Bible  –  read and study this Book first as your basis for understanding the principles of spiritual leadership;  this will be the grid through which you evaluate all other teaching on the subject of leadership

Leadership Concepts

   1.      Spiritual Leadership / Sanders

  2.      Leadership is an Art  /  DePree

  3.      Leadership Jazz  /  DePree

  4.      Leaders:  Strategies for Taking Charge  /  Benni & Nanus

  5.      Principle Centered Leadership  /  Covey

  6.      The Leadership Challenge  /  Kouzes and Posner

7.      The Making of a Leader /  Clinton

Leadership Practice

  1.      The Effective Executive / Drucker

  2.      Developing the Leader Within You  /  Maxwell

  3.      Developing the Leaders Around You  /  Maxwell

  4.      The Training of the Twelve  /  Bruce

  5.     Leading from the Sandbox   /  Addington

  6.     Leading Change  /  Kotter

7.     Biographies of great leaders  –  Dawson Trotman, Hudson Taylor, George Mueller, J.O Fraser, Adoniram Judson, Amy Carmichael, etc.

The Amazing C.T. Studd

There are no guarantees we will live a pain-free life. God does not apologize for asking much of His followers. It is His right. He owns us. He bought us with His own blood. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

But God also promises us that whatever cost we are asked to pay in denying self and following Him He will repay multiple times over. “I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life” (Mark 10:29-30). Therefore, whatever has been sacrificed for Christ, when compared with what has been gained in return, will not seem to be too great a cost to pay.

C.T. Studd came from a wealthy English family and was a 21 year-old student at Cambridge University when he trusted Christ as his personal Savior. Studd was an outstanding athlete, with a possible career in professional sports, in addition to being a good student. After his conversion, he dedicated his life and wealth to Christ.

He and six other Cambridge students offered themselves to Hudson Taylor’s China Inland Mission in 1885. Nine years later he returned to England with a wife, but broken in health. After recuperating, he gave away his home to the mission and traveled throughout America for two years recruiting young men and women to give themselves to missions. In 1900 the family moved to India for six years when once again they had to return to England. In 1910 he left his family in England to pioneer a new mission into the heart of Africa. This ministry eventually became Worldwide Evangelization Crusade (WEC) which continues to this day.

Studd personally had a ministry on four continents and through those he touched, the entire world. But this adventure began with a decision to deny fame and fortune in this world in order that he might follow Christ.

Jim Elliott, martyred by Latin American Indians as a young man. said this, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, in order to gain what he cannot lose.”

A Sacrificial Life

Sacrifice means, “to give something up for the sake of something of higher value.” Sacrificial living is to give up our own lives for the purpose of following Christ. Jesus modeled the perfect sacrificial life by giving His very life for the sins of mankind. It is this type of lifestyle, one that chooses to live for others instead of self, that models real love for people (John 15:12-14).

Sacrificial living is a daily decision, not a one time event. Paul urges us to, “…. offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship (Romans 12:1).” We are to continually offer ourselves to God as living sacrifices as an act of worship to God for all He has done for us. He died for us! Living for Him is the least we can do!

Jesus reminds us that being His disciple means, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). To follow Christ means that we must first deny ourselves. That is, give up all rights to our own plans, desires, dreams, and hopes for our lives and let God determine our future. It is an abandonment of self into the loving hands of God. Secondly, we must take up our cross daily. To the first century audience, the picture of a person carrying a cross meant that they were condemned to death by the Roman government. They had no future–only death. Jesus uses this picture to illustrate that this death to self is to be daily, not just a one time decision. Each and every day we must choose to live for Christ and not self.

Sacrificial living goes against the wisdom of this world. The world says to seek self-gratification. “If it feels good do it!” The implication being, if it doesn’t feel good, then it should not be acted upon. To choose to deny self in order to gain the opportunity to serve God is something that will be hard for others to understand.

Are you living for self or dying to self?  It’s a daily, moment by moment choice and lifestyle.

The Amazing John Sung

John Sung was a young Chinese believer who was sent by his family to America to study chemistry. After obtaining his PhD from Ohio State he went on to seminary before returning to China. During his time in the U.S., God called John to a life of service for the Kingdom. On the ship home one evening, he took his diplomas and threw them into the Pacific Ocean, telling God he would follow Him wherever He led.

After arriving home, he told his family of his calling and decision to serve Christ rather than teach science. The family thought he had lost his mind and committed him a mental institution. During his 193 days in the asylum, Sung read the Bible through 40 times! Finally, the family had him released, and he became an itinerant evangelist traveling throughout China and many Asian countries. His fifteen-year ministry was characterized by unusual power and influence until his death at the age of 43.

Not all of those who seek God’s best will be asked to give up their careers in order to serve Christ full-time. Many will serve Him in God-honoring careers, being light and salt in the marketplace. But whatever their vocation, the pilgrims of this new generation of believers will often live lives that will be misunderstood by others.

Pilgrim values will be contrary to the values of this world. Life decisions based on eternal values will go against the tide of this world’s norms. Pilgrims will be thought of as foolish or at least not living up to their full potential. It will only be in the world to come that we will see completely who made the correct choices. “But wisdom is proved right by all her children” (Luke 7:35).

How’s your value system?  Is it based upon this world or the world to come?

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