Leadership and Love

Alexander Strauch has written some excellent books that have served the body of Christ greatly.  I have devoured his first two books, Minister of Mercy:  The New Testament Deacon (first published in 1992), and Biblical Eldership (first published in 1995).  They are great books setting forth the pattern of leadership as found in the New Testament.  They help to differentiate between the two offices in the church:  Elders and Deacons.  Elders are to focus their attention upon shepherding, leading, teaching and guiding the church.  Deacons are to focus their attention upon the practical needs of the body and serve to meet them. They have been a great help to how we view leadership at our church.

In recent years I have obtained three other titles that Strauch has written:  Leading with Love (published in 2006), Love or Die (published in 2008), and If You Bite and Devour One Another (published in 2011).  Now, I’m no prophet. Nor do I have special insight into the reasons for the recent emphasis of Strauch’s writings. However, I can make a guess (and if I’m wrong, the point is still valid).  My guess is that they flow out of Strauch’s own experiences as it relates to his first two books.

Strauch’s books on leadership have become the standard for many churches.  As a result, he has surely counseled with many churches concerning leadership in their church.  I have personally heard of instances in which he was called to help counsel churches deal with leadership problems.  My hunch is that he has seen a lack of love in many churches, which has been the source of their problems, not the structure of leadership (which was the topic of his first two books). Church leaders have done well in defining the roles of the two Biblical offices, but have done poorly in carrying out the heart that is needed in Biblical leadership, which is love. In other words, church leaders get the outside right, but they have missed the inside. That’s my guess on why Strauch has written several books on love.

At any rate, my point here is still true:  Church leaders need to love those whom God has given them to lead.

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