Dr. Jeff Iorg is becoming one of my favorite advisers on the discipline of practical pastoral leadership. If you’re like me, you want something on the shelf closest to your desk, to grab for that inevitable crisis that attends the pastoral ministry. Because much of pastoral ministry as Dr. Iorg states is ministering from “crisis to crisis” we need to seek those wise men in our life that can guide us through those turbulent waters. Dr Iorg provides that wisdom through years of pastoral ministry experience. David Platt, Former pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, AL and now President of the International Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention wrote in the front fold, “I have only been a pastor for three years, and I wish I could have read this book three years ago!” The books main purpose is to highlight specific problem area’s and corresponding actions one can take to deal with those crisis’s.
How does this book differ from other books on leadership::
This book has a very unique take on the topic of leadership. Many of the books that I have read on this subject, take a “how to” and a “build you up” approach. While needed, I think many of us are looking for something that we can shake our heads to and see both the problems with our followers, and those problems within ourselves. Any real evaluation of leadership, has to put many of the fingers in our own chest. We are leaders, and we have agreed to this job. This is where this book takes a different approach. Mainly due to the fact that the author writes from first hand accounts; it was his hands that made many of the mistakes! And he’s not shy about painting his mural of many failures in pastoral ministry. But more than just telling a story, this book is immensely practical and theological. From the beginning, Dr. Iorg reminds his audience that leadership is painful, because you are leading sinners. Christians make sinful choices. There is some residue that clings to the garments of Christians even after post conversion and this complicates leadership. With that laying the foundation, Dr. Irog then lays out some general strategies for managing situations that may be painful. Everything from dealing with disappointment to taking courgages stands; the advice is extremely helpful and encouraging.
My favorite chapter::
When I read a book, I find that I value that which speaks to me the most…currently. Dr. Irogs chapter on Understanding Criticism has really encouraged and challenged me. Lets face it; we all hate criticism. Whether we are giving it, or on the receiving end. Dr. Irog reminds us that criticism is all part of being a leader, and we should expect it to come when we least expect it, and at times, from those least qualified to give it. Welcome to ministry! So, we must deal with it and move on toward the goal.
A bit about the author::
Jeff Iorg is the President of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Northern California, and a former pastor. He writes, “My leadership scars, not my success are the source for much of the material in this book and are often my most compelling life message.”
I am thankful that I get the privilege of digging into this book before my first three years begins.
Purchase the book here: Painful Side of Leadership
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