Lead Like Christ: Reflecting The Qualities And Character Of Christ In Your Ministry, by A.W. Tozer
[Note: This book was provided free of charge by Bethany House Publishing. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]
This book begins with an introduction that tries to frame Tozer’s writing and thinking in a way that avoids offending the reader. This sort of introduction is necessary because Tozer often strikes this reader as a somewhat mean-spirited and intensely critical writer, and a critical reader is not always appreciative of being paid in his own coin by a critical writer (and vice versa, as it happens). This book is aimed at those in the ministry and is reputedly being written to encourage the reader to be Christlike in every respect. This is a worthwhile aim, but the author fails in at least two serious respects to succeed at this task as well as he aims. First, he fails to exhibit the sort of charity that Jesus Christ showed and that allowed him to be loved by those who might be put off by Tozer’s occasionally Pharisaical perfectionism. Second, he fails to point out how Jesus’ leadership sprang from the body of biblical law and prophecy that the author seems to largely ignore, perhaps out of a lack of knowledge.
That is not to say that this book is without value. At his best, Tozer is a bracing cup of cold water for the reader, and that can be a very good thing. This book consists of nineteen short chapters of less than ten pages apiece on average that combine to talk about various aspects of being a Christ-like leader in the view of the author, with such topics discussed as: the foundation, model, and a demonstration of Christ-like leadership, motivation by complete truth, the framework of God’s promises, preaching, understanding biblical order, obvious fruit, attributes of a spiritual leader, understanding the foundation of leadership, and maintaining a tight grip on the Word. Other chapters explore such issues as sound doctrine, God’s grace, our value to Christ, how God sees us, our motives, and facing spiritual warfare. At its best, this book is bracing and challenging in a way that many readers will likely need to be challenged, and this is a worthwhile task that Tozer was well-equipped to undertake.