Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders is a classic book, and one of the greatest leadership books in print today. Numerous leaders credit this book as formative in their lives and ministries. It’s depth and breadth of biblical wisdom and practical application are unmatched in a single volume.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:
When God calls us, we cannot refuse from a sense of inadequacy. Nobody is worthy of such trust
Pride ever lurks at the heels of power, but God will not encourage proud men in His service.
Many who aspire to leadership fail because they have never learned to follow.
A leader must be able to see the end results of the policies and methods he or she advocates. Responsible leadership always looks ahead to see how policies will affect future generations.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
Vision leads to venture, and history is on the side of venturesome faith. The person of vision takes fresh steps of faith across gullies and chasms not “playing safe” but neither taking foolish risks.
Leaders take lessons from the past, but never sacrifice the future for the sake of mere continuity.
A visionary may see, but a leader must decide.
The spiritual leader will not procrastinate when faced with a decision, nor vacillate after making it. A sincere but faulty decision is better than weak-willed “trial balloons” or indecisive overtures. To postpone decisions is really to decide for the status quo. In most decisions the key element is not so much knowing what to do but in living with the results.
Leadership always faces natural human inertia and opposition. But courage follows through with a task until it is done.
Barnabas Piper serves on the leadership team at Lifeway, and is the author of several books, including The Pastor’s Kid, and Help My Unbelief.