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Church Leadership

Author Jon Coutts
Publisher SCM £19.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334057789

Coutts teaches at Trinity College, Bristol, and this is a helpful, positive contribution balancing theological reflection with practical guidance. Lots of good questions are asked and addressed, from the classic, ‘What makes leadership Christian?’ to the more subtle, ‘If leadership is a spiritual gift, which is it?’ It is always helpful to get a feeling for where the author is coming from and a quick glance at the index reveals key influences. For example, Henri Nouwen’s portrait of leadership In the Name of Jesus is cited far more times than Charles Handy’s highly influential Understanding Organizations. During a vacancy, Readers will often find themselves expected to take on an interim leadership role without necessarily having the authority that an incumbent may enjoy. There is excellent material here on understanding different models of church and corresponding expectations of leadership styles. This would be very helpful for focusing a PCC discussion prior to drawing up a parish profile. From lay ministers’ perspectives, it would have been good to see more on collaborative leadership models; but the author helpfully reminds us, ‘God originally preferred to lead through prophets rather than kings.’

ALAN MITCHELL

Leadership