The church is experiencing a leadership crisis.
What can we do to prevent pastors from leaving the ministry?
For every celebrity pastor exiting the ministry in the spotlight, there are many more lesser-known pastors leaving in the shadows. Pastor and best-selling author Paul David Tripp argues that lurking behind every pastoral failure is the lack of a strong leadership community. Tripp draws on his decades of ministry experience to give churches twelve gospel principles necessary to combat this leadership crisis. Each of these principles, built upon characteristics such as humility, dependency, and accountability, will enable new and experienced leaders alike to focus their attention on the ultimate leadership model: the gospel.
Principle 1: A ministry community, whose time is controlled by doing the business of the church tends to be spiritually unhealthy.
Principle 2: If your leaders are going to be tools of God’s grace, they need to be committed to nurture that grace in one another’s lives.
Principle 3: Recognizing God-ordained limits of gift, time, energy and maturity is essential to leading a ministry community well.
Principle 4: Teaching your leaders to recognize and balance the various callings in their life is a vital contribution to their success.
Principle 5: A spiritually healthy leadership community acknowledges that character is more important than structure or strategies.
Principle 6: It is essential to understand that leadership in any gospel ministry is spiritual warfare.
Principle 7: Being called to leadership in the church is a call to a life of willing sacrifice and service.
Principle 8: A spiritually healthy leadership community is characterized by the humility of approachability and the courage of loving honesty.
Principle 9: Where your leaders look for identity will always determine how they lead.
Principle 10: If a leadership community is formed by the gospel it will always be committed to a lifestyle of fresh starts and new beginnings.
Principle 11: For church leaders, ministry longevity is always the result of gospel community.
Principle 12: You will only handle the inevitable weakness, failure, and sin of your leaders when you view them through the lens of the presence, power, promises, and grace of Jesus.
Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, award-winning author, and international conference speaker. He has written numerous books, including the best seller New Morning Mercies. His nonprofit ministry exists to connect the transforming power of Jesus Christ to everyday life. Tripp lives in Philadelphia with his wife, Luella, and they have four grown children.
“This book is the perfect complement to Tripp’s Dangerous Calling. The warning of ‘functional gospel amnesia’ captures so well why this book is needed. Leaders do not need more gimmicks. Leaders need more grace. They need more gospel.” ―Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
“The strength of this book lies in the way Tripp shapes his treatment of leadership by two things: his understanding of the gospel, and his grasp of the organic nature of the local church. At one level, this is an easy read; at another level, it is sometimes probing and painful.” ―D. A. Carson, Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition
“Tripp knows the heart and hurts of the leader. He writes with a vulnerable compassion borne out of shared experiences and a conviction rooted in deep biblical wisdom. Lead is by far the best book on ministry leadership I have read and one to which I will undoubtedly return.” ―Mark Bailey, President and Senior Professor of Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary
“Wow. I had no idea that reviewing this book would become so very personal, so penetrating―an experience of leadership surgery that sliced my soul open with conviction and then sutured it shut with grace. Tripp is among the few who have the experience, stature, transparency, and clarity to call church leaders back to the urgency of gospel transformation in ministry. May God give me, and all of us, ears to hear these truths . . . and enough courageous humility to apply them!” ―Dave Harvey, President, Great Commission Collective; author, I Still Do
“While this book is written primarily for pastors and ministry leaders, it is appropriate for any Christ-following leaders who operate in the sacred or the secular. As a leader who spent thirty years in c-suite roles in business and now almost four years as a leader in a global ministry, I found the twelve gospel principles to be spot on. I encourage any leader, either in business or ministry, to pick this book up and digest it.” ―Steve Shackelford, Chief Executive Officer, Redeemer City to City
“Only read this book if you are desperate to be a more humble, gentle, and gracious servant of Christ. If you want something that will chart your way to ecclesiastical fame and celebrity-pastor status, this is not it. This book is about sacrificial, humble, death-to-self leadership―not self-centered, superficial, self-promoting, narcissistic authoritarianism. On every page, Tripp challenges us to recapture a thoroughly biblical approach to leadership in the church, and that is precisely what we need as we lead amid the raging battle all around us―a battle for our joy, our perseverance, our lives, our families, and the people we serve―to the end that God would get all the glory, and not us.” ―Burk Parsons, Senior Pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida; Editor, Tabletalk
“Tripp’s books have been some of the most influential books in my life. Lead is no exception! You will find within the pages of this book practical, gospel-centered help as you lead and serve others.” ―Jennie Allen, New York Times best-selling author, Get Out of Your Head; Founder, IF:Gathering
“I think I have read everything Paul Tripp has written! Few people have inspired and instructed me with clear, gospel-saturated wisdom like he has, and I’m excited to see him apply this wisdom to leadership. As is often said, everything rises or falls on leadership, including the family, the home, and the spiritual self. Dangerous Calling was eerily prophetic in its anticipation of the fall of a number of high-profile leaders, each one adding to the heartbreak of a church in a leadership crisis. I am grateful to see that conversation extended, and I hope many will not only read this book, but saturate themselves in the gospel it puts forward.” ―J. D. Greear, President, Southern Baptist Convention; author, Not God Enough; Pastor, The Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina