Christ-Based Leadership: Applying the Bible and Today's Best Leadership Models to Become an Effective Leader

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Baker Books, May 1, 2007 - Religion - 208 pages
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Presents a portrait of Christian leadership within a biblical framework while comparing and contrasting it to today's hottest leadership models.

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Review: Christ-Based Leadership

User Review  - Carol Sullivan -

Focusing on the majors in our sphere of influence and leadership must be the prime objective for Christian leaders who wish to replicate themselves in a way that will build the Kingdom. Read full review

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Reviewed by: Tewodros Shibru, Addis Ababa
The book under this review is “Christ-Based Leadership: Applying the Bible and Today’s Best Leadership Models to Become an Effective Leader” by David
Stark* (2005). The author is a pastor, business consultant and trainer. Stark was inspired “to have a book that shows how the scripture truth can work hand in hand with the best insight of business research” (pp.16). Among the books and business gurus the author used as his best leadership models are: Jim Collins' Good to Great (2001) &Built to Last (1994), Sumantra Ghoshal and Christopher A. Bartlett (The Individualized Corporation,1999), Marcus Buckingham (First Break All the Rules, 1999), Glenn Parker (Cross Functional Teams, 2002), Patrick M.Lencioni (Overcoming the Five Dysfunctions of a Team, 2005), Ichak Adizes (Corporate Life-cycles,1988), Tachi Kiuchi and Bill Shireman (What We Learned in the Rainforest, 2002), James F.Moore (The Death of Competition, (1997) and Chris Zook, Profit From the Core, 2001)
The author has followed what is a Biblical and contextually appropriate method of handling leadership issue of church/ministry. For every new discoveries the business world literature is illuminating on the truth of leadership, there is an already existing wisdom revealed in the scriptures discovered thousands years ago.
Stark states that the business world is providing leadership style supported by researches that goes along with the teaching of the bible. In this regard, the common approach the author used in this book is to ask a pivotal question appearing in each chapter. Then he addresses these questions by expounding in the Biblical text. He then proceeds to explain one or two of the models he selected or vice-verse. Then he carries on describing the practical application of these selected models in church/ministry context.
As Roger Gill (2006)** tried to prove in his book, Theories and Practice of Leadership, the breadth, depth and complexity of the existing leadership models as confusing for readers in view of the fact that every leadership writer/scholar are focused only in the area of their finding and personal interest. His findings thus show us the need for higher standard to measure the validity and truthfulness of such diverse methods, theories and approaches. What David Stark has done is to measure, compare, contrast and adopt the leadership models he selected as best with the Biblical standard.
Some secular leadership researches and models are approaching the truth expressed in the bible about leadership through time. This might look like what Paul had said to the Athenian, “God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us” Acts 17:27 (NIV).
Stark has done a good job of bringing together what the business gurus ‘reached out and found’ to the already revealed teachings of the bible. This book deserves to be a text for those people who are in the business of training Church Leaders.
As a reader in Ethiopia, nonetheless, I observed that the book is written in the context of North American churches and leadership theories. To apply this suggestion we need someone who knows the Ethiopian church context, leadership culture and today’s best leadership models come up and fill the gap by adopting this material and doing research in the area.
Reader will note that the leadership models selected in this book are ‘best’ by the author standard. For sure, other leadership books/gurus have something that go along with what the bible teaches. They will keep coming and improving. David Stark or other author need to keep the Church to be informed, relate to them and exploit these discoveries in the context of the Bible.
* David Stark, Christ-Based Leadership: Applying the Bible and Today's Best Leadership Models to Become an Effective Leader (Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 2005).
** Roger Gill, Theory and Practice of Leadership (London, SAGE Publication, 2006


Are You Leadership Literate?
What Is the Truth of Your Ambition?
Who Is Lord of Your Leadership?
Do You Believe in the People Youre Leading?
What Is Your Definition of Success?
Where Is Your Focus?
Do You Have a Culture of Excellence or a Culture of Winning?
Do You Play to Strengths So People Can Do Their Best?
Are You Really a Team?
Are You Ready to Create New Wineskins?
What Time Is
Are You Trying to Fill a Niche or Simply Expand as Far as Possible?
Who Are You Here to Serve?
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About the author (2007)

David Stark ( is president of BusinessKeys International, a consulting practice that serves churches as well as businesses. A former pastor, he has worked with churches for more than twenty years, focusing on strategy, leadership, small-group ministries, and lay empowerment.

For businesses, he specializes in strategy, leadership, and culture issues. David's previous books include LifeKeys: Discover Who You Are and Christ-Based Leadership. He and his family live in Minneapolis.

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