Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership

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Wipf and Stock Publishers, Nov 14, 2003 - Religion - 314 pages
Leadership is a subject that has gained impressive visibility in the past two decades. The number of books, monographs and articles, as well as seminars, devoted to the development of one's leadership skills has been almost exponential growth.

This study is an attempt to forge a full-orbed theology of Christian leadership grounded in the teaching of Scripture. What emerges from tracing the theme of leadership through the biblical record is a servanthood pattern, one that is wholly distinct from prevailing secular models. Our exposition begins with the biblical language of the servant, the term of choice for those great leaders used of God to further his saving purposes in the world. Eleven Old Testament and five New Testament leaders are profiled. The portrait of Jesus Christ focuses on three motifs that governed his training of the twelve for kingdom ministry. The Pauline letters are mined for those convictions that governed Paul's practice of leadership, both of his mission team and of the faith communities that emerged from that mission. The treatment of each leader, from Joseph to Paul, begins with a series of preliminary questions and concludes with a mini-profile that correlates the biblical data with these questions. The final chapter offers a summary profile of the servant leader, one whose character, motives and agenda align with the divine purposes.

Though designed as a textbook for upper level college and seminary courses on leadership, the book's readable format is ideal for churches and parachurch organizations in their leadership training programs. The author's prayer is that this work will serve as a catalyst to call God's people back to Scripture and thereby raise up a whole new generation of authentic servant-leaders.

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This book was used as a text in a University class on Christian leadership and is certainly one of the best books that I've seen on the subject. It places the servanthood of Christ as the central example of Christian leadership. Howell provides Biblical examples of leadership lessons and presents deep Biblical truths of leadership attributes in a clear and concise manner. It also clings to the Bible for the source instead of relying heavily upon philosophy. It is a must read for Christian leaders who are dealing with the temptation to make ministry about themselves or their agenda instead of about being the servant that Christ commanded us to be. 


Equipper of Equippers
Kingdom harvest through sacrifice
Kingdom righteousness through freedom
Kingdom greatness through servanthood
PART FOUR New Testament Profiles in Leadership
A broken rock becomes a foundation stone
The taming of ambition
Power of the mentor

A woman for the times
Divine power in human weakness
Potential squandered by character flaws
Leader at the crossroads
Man after Gods heart
Tragic downfall of a leader
Wisdom undermined by excess
Spiritual vitality in a secular setting
Motivator and mobilizer
Extraordinary usefulness of an ordinary vessel
Pauls troubleshooter
Builder of Faith Communities
Characteristics of his leadership
Criteria for community leaders
PART SIX Profile of the ServantLeader
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About the author (2003)

Don N. Howell Jr. has taught New Testament in the Seminary and School of Missions of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina since 1995. Before that, Don and his wife, Melissa, served fifteen years with OMF International in church planting and theological education in Japan. Howell's earlier book, Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership (Wipf & Stock, 2003) traces the theme of servant leadership through the biblical record. Dr. Howell has taught in many cross-cultural settings, including East Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, China, and Micronesia.

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