Bob Rhoden grew up without much leadership in his life. His parents were killed by a drunk driver when he was two and he was raised by his widowed grandmother in her house alongside a railroad track in North Florida. Yet, he became a Pastor of a congregation which he led for 22 years. His next 15 years, saw him lead over 300 churches as District Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Potomac District.
Rhoden asks the question all of us leaders ask, “How do you know if you’re an effective Christian leader?” What is the standard to which we should hold ourselves?
- Large Sunday attendance?
- Balanced budgets?
- Community reputation?
Rhoden calls Jesus the “most riveting leader of all time” and in his book considers the 4 faces of Jesus’ leadership as he asks, “What does a great leader look like?”
He sees Jesus as a Shepherd, Servant, Steward and Seer.
Jesus as a Shepherd
“The real shepherd loves the sheep even when they are ugly, when the bite and when they disobey”
- A Calling is different from a Career
- Shepherds sacrifice for the sake of the sheep
What do shepherds do?
- They feed the Word of God
- Equip and add value
Jesus as Servant
“Jesus saw people as individuals, not categories”
- Confident leaders do not worry about their status or image
- Churches should showcase servant leaders in their congregations
What are the traits of a servant leader?
- You’re ok with others going first
- You don’t care who gets the credit
- You are recognized for more than your title
Jesus as Steward
“Stewards or managers understand that the operation is not actually theirs.”
What does Pastors manage?
- Speaking on God’s behalf
- Serving as God’s Diplomat
- Personal walk with God
Jesus as Seer
“God’s work always stands in need of those who can see what others miss…”
- Living in what was will not move you towards what could be
- A Seer must understand that the winds of culture keep changing
What must a Seer see?
- New ministry opportunities
- Potential for conflict
- Rising new leader
The conclusion of the book has a test to help the reader determine their strengths and weaknesses when it come to these 4 faces of leadership, with the encouragement to bring up your weak areas.
An easy read, you could use 4 Faces with your church board, staff or in a mentoring relationship.
Quotes Worth Quoting
“Success in a career is defined by how much you earn and how many people you control. Success in a kingdom calling is defined by how much you give away and how many people you serve.”
“What is maturity? My definition is when people produce more than they consume. If sheep are healthy, they will reproduce.”
“What any of us is predisposed to think is not as important as what Jesus taught and modeled.”
“The very factors that produced today’s success often produce tomorrows failures.”
“Leadership is not so much about what we set in motion. Its about planting the right seeds in people.”