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Spiritual Leadership

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  3,363 ratings  ·  154 reviews
With over 500,000 in print, Spiritual Leadership is the perennial favorite for teaching the principles of leadership. In this classic, J. Oswald Sanders illustrates biblical leadership principles through the lives of David, Moses, Nehemiah, the Apostle Paul, David Livingston, and Charles Spurgeon.This world needs more leaders who are guided by God and devoted to Christ. Ch ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 9th 1994 by Moody Publishers (first published 1967)
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Jul 23, 2011 Jimmy added it
I have heard of this classic previously but have not had the opportunity to read it until now. Having thus finished the book, there were parts of the book that was profitable for me spiritually.
Among the thing that convicted me was the chapter on “The Leader and His Time�, particularly this quote: “We have each been entrusted with sufficient time to do the whole will of God and to fill out His perfect plan for our lives� (114). The author Oswald Sanders gave examples of Godly men whose g
First of all, this book isn't horrible because the things it says aren't true. I think that the things in here are generally ok in terms of what's said - it's a collection of 1-2 page "observations" or "meditations" on small leadership principles. If you're looking for a sort of devotional book or a vague book about how to apply some generally true (regardless of religious affiliation) ideas with biblical language behind them, this book is fine.

But it's precisely that vagueness that kills me. It
This little devotional book is full of gems that sparkle, catch God’s light and cause one to reevaluate one’s attitude toward spiritual leadership in general and church leadership in specific. It isn’t deep, scholarly, or philosophical, but it is practical and inspiring. Two matters which really jumped out at me were, of course, areas where I was predisposed to resonate with Sanders. I believe in the value of study and I think the biblical character named Nehemiah is a phenomenal model for good ...more
I am really enjoying going through this book with my Pastor as a type of discpileship training, but the one thing that I really do not like is that Moody Publishers take the liberty to add, subtract, and even completely change the content. I would much prefer to read what Oswald Sanders originally wrote. They preface the changes with the hope of making the book more understandable via modernazation, but in some cases they just completely change what was said. I love the book, but would love to h ...more
This is a must read for anyone seeking to grow as a disciple. While the title and tone of the book speak specifically to those seeking (or occupying) positions of spiritual leadership, they are the plain-spoken but necessary substance of spiritual growth. Leadership is influence, and any man or woman who is growing in their faith should find themselves increasing in their influence, whether of a congregation or a single person who they are mentoring. Every chapter is filled with scripture and te ...more
This is a fantastic book for church leaders-- almost an absolute must.

Most books on church leadership focus on delegating or communicating or organizing-- not this volume.. Instead--- this book focuses on the need for a leader to be spiritual, to develop spiritual character and spiritual values. Therefore, the book is a wonderful stepping stone in a spiritual journey, especially for a spiritual leader.

That doesn't mean that Mr. Sanders doesn't touch on things like delegation and communication..
*Cost of Leadership
“Quinton Hogg, founder of London Polytechnic Institute, devoted a great fortune to the enterprise. Asked how much it had cost to build up such a great institution, Hogg replied “Not very much, simple one man’s lifeblood.” That is the cost of every great achievement, and it is not paid in a lump sum. It is bought on the time-payment plan, a further installment each new day. Fresh drafts are constantly being made, and when the payment ceases, the leadership wanes. That fact was
Barnabas Piper
A leadership classic. I had never read it before, and it is fantastic. Anyone in ministry or business leadership would benefit from this book.
Craig Adams
This was one of the most helpful and insightful reads on leadership I've found to date!
Andrew Hall
should read again....and again and again
Oswald Sanders, in Spiritual Leadership, writes for the future of the church. In order to secure the faithfulness of the work of the church, he aims directly for the members of the church, universal's leaders. He writes for pastors, missionaries, teachers and other administrators to challenge them towards greater faithfulness and effectiveness in their God-ordained leadership roles.

According to Sanders, the Christian leader, unlike other positions of authority, should never campaigns for himsel
Dave Johnson
The problem with leadership books in general is that most of them harp on uninspired, ambiguous maxims that make the author sound smart. sometimes there will nuggets here and there that will actually help you lead people, but it seems to me that the vast majority of leadership books feed the ego or intellect more than the spirit.

but this book is completely different. J. Oswald Sanders was the leader of the China Inland Mission in the '50s and '60s. big shoes to fill, seeing as how the originato
Kenn Chipchase
The best book I've read on what it means to be a spiritual leader. There are so many things I love about this book. The chapters are short, so you could read one short chapter a day and reflect on the chapter without being overwhelmed with so much material. You could even use it as a daily devotional supplement. The chapters cover such a wide range of topics which only makes the book even more helpful. Every chapter I found myself with a new epiphany about how the contents of the chapter applied ...more
Oswald Sanders fills his book with hundreds of condensed, paragraph long stories of Christian leaders through the centuries who were displaying the working out of the quality of their character while doing the work of God's mission. A good many of them were missionaries and administrators of the China Inland missions, with whom Oswald worked or whose lives preceded his own work. These were people worth being introduced to through Oswald's writings. Alongside the Inland missionaries, Oswald inser ...more
Josh Wilson
J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership
Oswald Sanders’ book on Christian leadership is a time-tested classic for good reason. Sanders leans on his personal leadership experience to challenge the Christian to take the mantle of leadership and run with endurance. While the book is certainly appropriate for those in vocational ministry, Sanders has a broader audience in mind and regularly makes valuable application for any Christian who desires to be used of God in service. In addition to the kno
I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to progress in holy leadership

Poignant Quotes:

"In Paul's times, only deep love for Christ and genuine concern for His church would provide men with a sufficiently powerful motive to aspire to that office."

"Those real qualities of leadership are to be found in those who are willing to suffer for the sake of objectives great enough to demand their wholehearted obedience."

"Have you ever broken yourself of a bad habit? To lead others, one must be mast
I've only just started reading books about leadership and Christian leadership, so perhaps this isn't saying much, but this is one of the best books I've read on Christian leadership. It wasn't originally formulated as a book (it was a series of talks given to OMF conferences), so it doesn't really have an overall integrity and progression, but it contains a lot of excellent wisdom about Christian leadership and it spoke very much into my current situation.

Definitely a recommended book!
Rod Culbertson
I have read this book three times in my life, always with great benefit. Sanders speaks to the heart of the Christian leader (or the one aspiring to be a leader). Every time I have taken upon a major new ministry challenge in my life, I have paused to read this work. It never fails to provide the proper perspective for trusting and serving God in His work. I highly recommend it.
Edgar Soltero-flores
Great book for laymen (non-clergy people). I took out principles from Sanders's book that have helped me both in one on one conversations with people in teams I've been in and in group talks. I definitely want to read this book once a year to continue to be realign my principles as I grow. This book always has something new to share, I can't soak up everything in just one session.
Jim George
This book was written by J. Oswald Sanders from years of study and experience as a leader in the Christian community. Spiritual Leadership is a book that I have read at least 12 to 15 times over the years. Much of my philosophy of biblical leadership was derived from Spiritual Leadership. I agree with others who say this is the best book on Christian leadership that I have ever read!
G.P. Hintz
I enjoyed this book. Very good book for the individual leader. I picked it up in search of establishing elders... not a good book for this process. However, if you are looking for a great book at examining character qualities and disciplines of a leader, this book is for you. Read it and try to apply the principles to your life. You will be better off if you do.
I've read several powerful books on leadership from John Maxwell and this one fits right up there with them. What I really like about this book is that there's not a lot of fluff but it get's right to the point. Each chapter is short but succinct.

Sanders source material is straight from the Bible so you know it's true. He starts the book by identifying what leaders are. How to search for a leader and leadership qualities. Sanders then moves to the qualities of leadership and how we can be strong
This book on Christian Spiritual leadership has endured the test of time since its first printing in 1967. The reason for its endurance is that this book does not depend on leadership styles, programs, or methods. Instead, its focus is on the leader himself, namely, developing the leader's Christlike character,godly discipline, and having the right perspective on the leader's task.

Each chapter only averages about 5 pages, but is so filled with biblical wisdom, quotes from godly leaders, and prac
This was an excellent and challenging book on what leadership as a Christian is really all about. It was easy to read and follow and really made me think about my life as a Christian. If you believe God is calling you into leadership of some sort, you need to read this book. Leadership is no small undertaking. It is not something to be pursued. Leadership as understood from a biblical worldview is not what our culture today would consider leadership. Sanders challenged me to think of leadership ...more

I actually listened to the Audiobook version from, read very professionally by Grover Gardner.

Any new leader or leader-in-training would be wise to understand and apply the principles and foundational Scriptural truths that apply to all areas of leadership. This is not a "What to do, to be a good leader book", the 'what' you will have to determine for yourself, it is the focus on the traits of a leader and leadership that this book focuses on. And not just le
Isaiah Jesch
This book is my favorite book on spiritual leadership that I have read so far. I first read it in 2007/2008 and even after having completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Pastoral Ministries and Biblical Studies, it still ranks as my favorite book on the topic and is in my top 5 books of all time.
A good book on spiritual leadership and leadership in general. Sanders uses a lot of examples from famous leaders to make his points. A helpful reminder on what leadership is all about and a challenge for leaders to fulfill there servant role with wisdom and courage.
Jonathan Brooker
My first thought upon reading this book was literally, "How have I not read this yet?!" It is a remarkably comprehensive and yet succinct. It covers a wide variety of leadership topics, some of which were even surprising to find since I had expected they might not have seemed as important back when this book was originally written.
Sanders may have been giving these talks for an audience of missionaries, but it is material that any Christian leader can use practically as a reference book for what
Scott Hubbard
Steeped in biblical texts, there are tons of great encouragements and challenges in this book. Although some of the topics seemed to overlap, this book is a great distillation of the topics surrounding spiritual leadership. Each chapter helped me to see with greater clarity what it is God desires in those who lead His church and the ways I fall short of this high calling. Nevertheless, Sanders offers plenty of encouragement to any who hold holy ambitions, to any who are striving to pursue the gl ...more
Doug Dale
This is my second time through this book. It's really excellent at briefly addressing some important leadership subjects. I think there are places where things can be overstated a bit for effect, and there are some seemingly contradictory things (aspiring to leadership is good vs. not good - probably resolved by discussing motivations), but overall it is a very helpful book, particularly to spark discussion.
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