THE LEADERSHIP LABYRINTH: Negotiating the Paradoxes of Ministry

By Jim Lacy

Occasionally a ministry book falls into our hands that really stretches our thinking and causes us to evaluate if we are effectively doing ministry.  We should read, and give attention, to such writings.

Judson Edwards is pastor of Woodland Baptist Church in San Antonio, Texas, and authored six previous books before writing THE LEADERSHIP LABYRINTH.

As the subtitle indicates, this is about “Negotiating the Paradoxes of Ministry.”  The 21 brief chapters suggest 21 ministry apparent contradictions such as…

-The Leadership Paradox: The harder you try to control a group, the less control you will have.

-The Calendar Paradox:  The busier you are, the less you
will accomplish.

-The Relationship Paradox:  The people who like you the most will be the ones you try least to please.

-The Controversy Paradox:  The issue you are arguing about is not the issue at all.

-The Helper’s Paradox:  The best way to help others is to take care of yourself.

-The Attitude Paradox:  Only pastors who are having fun can seriously proclaim the gospel.

You can see where this is going!  In 15 other chapters Edwards deals with issues such as preaching, stewardship, anxiety, influence and confrontation.  He is honest to write that his thoughts are not perfect, but I would say that they are provoking.  I encourage you to read this book as you would the book of Proverbs—statements that are wisdom generalities and not specifics. 

I now use this book regularly as a text for ministry students at Cornerstone University and only wish I had given careful attention to it when it was first published in 2005 (Smyth & Helwys Publishing- Macon, Georgia).

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