Not just another book about leadership with nice, but boring and same-old lists of attributes and characteristics that all great leaders have; along with a lengthy and detailed exposition of those traits. This book is markedly different! 

Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck have in this refreshing and revealing book focus on the atmosphere, DNA and soil in which discipleship and leadership can be nurtured and sustained.

This is what I would expect from one of the coauthors (Geiger) of “Simple Church.”

Here they present three “simple” but key ingredients around which leadership in local churches can be built:

  • Convictions
  • Culture
  • Constructs

Their 3 “Cs” felt neither forced nor contrived but were a natural and easy-to- understand process for sustained leadership development. They propose that an ongoing discipleship and leadership pathway for churches needs to start with deep biblical conviction, continue with building a culture to support it and create constructs (systems) which will sustain it.

It was easy to follow, not easy to argue against and, encouragingly, full of takeaways for anyone wanting to get back into the leadership development business in their church. Geiger and Peck even take it a step further in saying that leaders developed in the context of a local church are being prepared to serve in the marketplace, in government, or anywhere else in God’s wide, wide world. Leadership development can start in the church, but doesn’t end in the church and should serve a hurting world starved for the kind of leadership the church can model and offer.

I found the book to be biblically and theologically sound and incredibly practical– somewhat rare in leadership books which seem to fall on one side or the other of the continuum. Admittedly, they shared some thoughts in each of their 3 Cs which were not new nor created “aha” moments; but the genius of the book lies in their demonstrating how the Cs depend on each other and one, or even two, of them without the 3rdone will not give the desired result(s); and I could not agree more!

Many pastors and leaders in churches have strong convictions about developing leaders, but can’t seem to turn the culture around or create systems to give it longevity. Others build programs or systems that are not supported by a leadership development culture and it doesn’t last. Or, you may have a culture and system(s) but no conviction-driven leader who can champion it for the long haul. We need all three.  

Okay, so much for where the authors are taking us. Let me now switch gears and share what I particularly liked and found applicable for my own life and leadership context.

When I attend a conference, get time with a leader I respect, or read a leadership book, if I get one idea–a “golden nugget”–it was well worth the time and effort. Here are a few of the “golden nuggets” which I’m taking away from “Designed to Lead” that I will use in my own leadership at my church as well as share with those leaders and pastors whom I coach.

Page 80 ~ “But the kingdom needs more mavericks. We aren’t looking for rebels—we have plenty of those—but we do need mavericks.” I had my eyes opened on this one…wide open! Many leaders are mavericks. That’s what makes them the leaders they are. But at what point does a good maverick become a bad rebel? Some see all mavericks as rebels and that is not the case. I think I may get the most mileage out of this one as I personally seek to develop the next generation of mavericks and  determine if I have a rebel on my hands.

Page 115 ~ “For us to have any success in developing future leaders, it is critical that we are speaking the same language with the same definitions underneath the common language.”  Communication is so critical. And to communicate well there needs to be a common language and an agreed-upon understanding as to what we mean when we use certain words like a leader or a disciple. As one person said, we are not only not on the same page, we are not even in the same library!

Page 118 ~ “In developing new leaders it is crucial to have a significant consistency and clarity about authority and accountability.” I’m increasingly and painfully aware of the bad things which can happen when it’s not clear as to how decisions are made and how decision makers are being held accountable and responsible for executing those decisions.

Page 129 ~ “Culture is formed by what we truly believe and value over a sustained period of time. If the stated beliefs of a church are at odds with the actual beliefs, the actual beliefs win.” (Underlining is mine.) I am more aware now of the potential disconnect between what we say we value and believe and what we actually value and believe and how that effects discipleship and leadership in the church.

Page 171 ~ “If you and your church are going to develop leaders, you must deliver knowledge, provide experience and offer coaching.”  It is becoming increasingly clear to me that in many, if not most, cases we focus too much on knowledge and being graded and evaluated on how much we know and if we can spit out the right answers. Think Bible school, seminary and leadership development classes. In addition to dispensing knowledge (obviously necessary) we also need to be giving developing leaders experiences as they are being coached.

I loved this book and give it a five star rating.  Decidedly and definitely different!

Get a copy right now by going to this link Designed To Lead and incorporate it’s insightful ideas into your personal leadership as well as in your church or organization!