The picture of Paul and his leadership in the early church is somewhat fragmented. By that I mean one must read across all of his letters to understand his vision, goals, and ideas. There is a great benefit to the local church in looking back at the past to learn about the present and future.
Ryan Lokkesome’s book Paul and His Team: What the Early Church Can Teach Us About Leadership and Influence is such a book. His goal is to piece together the scattered vision of Paul’s leadership as presented in the New Testament and to guide pastors today. I also want to note this book is not necessarily for “professional” ministers. This book is meant for “parents, teachers, coaches, students, church leaders, grandparents,” and many more. Leadership and influence are not solely for the church; it is something we all possess. I now want to note a few things I appreciate.
First, I appreciate the candor with which Lokkesome approaches the reader. He is genuine and sincere in guiding Christians to understand their influence on others. It is difficult to write on leadership and to think one epitomizes this concept in the church or as a Christian, but Lokkesome remains humble and level-headed, realizing he has much more to learn.
Second, I appreciate his academic integrity and pastoral giftedness. This somewhat flows from my first reason. Lokkesome holds a Ph.D. in New Testament; he knows what the Bible says and teaches. To that end, this is not (necessarily!) an academic work. He desires to have “one foot” in academia and the other in pastoral ministry. Yet, he is not afraid to “turn up the volume” academically to explain a particular concept. Lokkesome does both well, and students and pastors alike will benefit.
Finally, I appreciate the book’s layout. Each chapter is well-structured, guiding the reader through each point, as well as the discussion questions at the end. The first question is what the reader gained from the chapter which sets the tone for the remaining discussion. Each set of questions also concludes with a sample prayer which is vital and necessary when leading a church (or wherever the reader finds her/himself exerting leadership and influence.)
I hope you will add this book to your shelf. Whether you are a “professional” minister or someone who works with students, adults, or a mixture thereof, I think you will find Lokkesome’s words timely and genuine as you learn of Paul, his influence, and how you exert influence on the people in your life.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Moody Press through the Moody Blogger Review Program. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.