Exemplary Spiritual Leadership – J. Wragg

Paperback, 154pp, Published by Day One Publications, Ryelands Road, Leominster, HR6 8NZ, UK. £7.00. ISBN 978-1-84625-200-6.

There is much here that is helpful. There is good use of headings and sub-headings as different aspects are dealt with: in the chapter ‘Leaders that God resists’ we have ‘the begrudging leader’, ‘the greedy leader’, ‘the belligerent leader’, and the last point is further developed –'intolerance of others’, ‘arrogance and joylessness’, etc. There are frequent references to scripture and also well-chosen quotations from writers.

The writer is a pastor-teacher at a church in Florida; he refers to the time ‘when I accepted the call to be pastor of my own flock’. In dealing with the development of leadership he sets forth what he does as the minister with elders in his local church; ‘I will sometimes bring an individual alongside as I fulfil a leadership duty … to see how he handles it’; ‘When I survey the men of our church for leadership potential I look for someone who …’.

He identifies areas of practical ministry that need to be addressed by church elders; these are well chosen. Likewise, the points identified for a leader are well chosen: for example, faithfulness in little things; and patience with inadequacies in others. Each point is developed in a paragraph.

The content is good. However, whether potential readers will appreciate this book may well depend less on what is written and more on how it is written. Wragg uses personal experience for examples and writes in a semi-narrative way. He uses anecdotal illustrations usually from his own experience; in dealing with the matter of a godly life, he narrates what happened one day two years ago when he was in a bookstore – ‘excitedly I picked it up (a book)’; in dealing with perseverance under pressure, he begins with the time when he was at Boot Camp in the USAF. There is the use of bullet points, rhetorical questions (three, one after the other, on occasions), and colloquialisms (‘Ah, money!’; ‘remember, we’re all sheep!’; ‘Let’s face it’). The book is written to a large extent with a speaking voice, a ‘pacy’ style, and some readers are going to be more comfortable with it than others.

[Our thanks to Bryan Charles, Appledore, Devon, England, for this review]

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