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Spiritual Leadership: A Commitment to Excellence for Every Believer

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  4,603 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
Sanders presents and illustrates several magnifying principles through the lives of prolific men. Spiritual Leadership will encourage you to place your talents and powers at God's disposal so you can become a leader used for His glory.
ebook, 208 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Moody Publishers (first published 1967)
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Jacob Wischoff
Oct 14, 2015 Jacob Wischoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spiritual leadership is an amazing book with tremendous insight on what a Spiritual Leader is. It also shows what temptations are present with leadership and how a Leader must uphold himself in the context of his Church, Life & Ministry. As you work thru the book you start with how being a Spiritual Leader is an honorable ambition and work thru qualifications and then lifestyle choices and imperatives that should be the ear mark of a Spiritual Leader. It's a great book that challenges the re ...more
Apr 08, 2015 midnightfaerie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious
An excellent book on principles that every Christian should strive for, not just those wanting to be leaders. Christians will always be held to a higher standard whether we like it or not, because we represent all Christians in our actions. So if you're looking for guidance as a Christian, searching for an answer, or even just entertaining the idea of being a leader, this book will help. Sanders gives each chapter a clear cut quality and how to obtain it and what to look for. No excessive preach ...more
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 âœThe Leader and His Timeâ, particularly this quote: âœWe have each been entrusted with sufficient time to do the whole will of God and to fill out His perfect plan for our livesâ (114). The author Oswald Sanders gave examples of Godly men whose greatne
Sep 09, 2011 Jason rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: church, school
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
Apr 26, 2011 Johnny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology, leadership
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
Apr 06, 2013 Cory rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 03, 2015 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book and recommended for anyone in a leadership role, secular or spiritual.
Mar 01, 2016 Caleb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charles Colson called this book by J. Oswald Sanders, “The best book on Christian leadership I’ve read.” I could see many others making this claim because of its comprehensive layout. Spiritual Leadership covers just about every topic of spiritual leadership I would want to communicate to a new future leader. It covers everything from heart motives, Bible parallels, doctrinal definitions, great insight from past church leaders, as well as actionable applications and personal questions on every c ...more
I once had an ancient copy of this book, but I can no longer find it and think it went away in the "move to Malaysia" purge of 1997. I read it back in the 80's and forgot about it. I do not remember being thoroughly impressed even though it was highly recommended.

Read about the author at
I was offered this free version on 9/27/10 and put it on my iPhone with hopes of listening to "someday," and that came this week. It is an updated audio version, and it hit
Freddy Coan
Apr 01, 2015 Freddy Coan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
This week's read was a great look into the biblical discipline of spiritual leadership. In the book, Sanders covers all aspects of leadership within the Body of Christ. He uses poems, writing excerpts, quotes, and scripture to look at leadership through the eyes of noted disciples of Christ. The overarching principle of leadership, says Sanders, is that of servanthood. Of the many words we would use to describe leader, servant is usually not our first choice, however, within the aspect of the Bo ...more
Mike Conroy
Feb 14, 2015 Mike Conroy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All tasks and missions come with their own unique dangers. The one who scales mountains for research has the unique danger of broken bones and death. Police Officers risk their lives for the mission of protecting citizens and enforcing laws. Pastoral ministry has its own dangers. J. Oswald Sanders in his book Spiritual Leadership helped me to realize that forgetting certain basic ideas, truths, and principles can be a danger in serving Christ.
This book was originally a set of lectures delivered
Feb 20, 2014 Jchrispowers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2014 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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..
Apr 21, 2014 Geoff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*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
Michael Philliber
Sanders addresses the subject of leadership for congregations and on the mission field. His chapters are saturated with examples and anecdotes, as well as biblical examinations, exhortations and exegesis. The author draws from a wide variety of sources from John Wesley to Charles Finney to A.W. Tozer to Charles Hodge. His focus is sometimes on any leadership position within a church or Christian organization. At other times, he is zeroing in on Pastors of a congregation.

The chapters are normally
Scott Kennedy
May 31, 2015 Scott Kennedy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I'd heard of this book before, but I'd never got around to checking it out until now. This is a fantastic book on leadership from a Christian perspective. Leading is about serving, and there is a cost to true leadership. Sanders makes a variety of interesting points in his book. I appreciated his chapter on the art of delegation, as my tendency is to try to do it all, because I feel only I (yes pride) can do it properly. He also made a good point about what we as people do with the spare hours w ...more
Barnabas Piper
Oct 07, 2013 Barnabas Piper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A leadership classic. I had never read it before, and it is fantastic. Anyone in ministry or business leadership would benefit from this book.
Alex Gordon
Jul 09, 2015 Alex Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great! It is a keeper... Read it a few times... love the part where he talks about being a leader is basically learning to be folks punching bag in a way and to just learn to take the punches where they don't hurt as much anymore. Also, his points on church or spiritual leadership being much more difficult than business leadership since folk's identity can be so caught up in their religious pride... oh and his talk on selfish ambition being a huge hindrance to The Spirit... oh and t ...more
Craig Adams
Jan 21, 2013 Craig Adams rated it it was amazing
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
Clifford Luebben
Apr 23, 2015 Clifford Luebben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spiritual Leadership is a very biblical look at leadership. It also draws on examples of Christian leaders of the past, mostly of the 19th and early 20th centuries. I particularly appreciate that he includes examples of missionaries as many Christians seem to forget to look at these examples. This book takes very seriously the task of a spiritual leader. It definitely strikes down any naive notions their may be of living in role of Spiritual leader, warning of the many challenges, hardships, and ...more
Sep 19, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 30, 2010 Dave Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 04, 2013 Kenn Chipchase rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 17, 2009 Art rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 07, 2013 Josh Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2008 Stevie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 18, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
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!
Merv Budd
Apr 09, 2016 Merv Budd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a classic book on leadership. I read this book a long while ago and decided to re-read it. This is a great practical introduction to leadership for anyone wanting to grow in this area, particularly with regard to their faith. I particularly enjoyed the chapter on "Prayer and Leadership" as well as "The Leader and Time". If you have never read this book I'd recommend it. It is a fairly quick read, very practical and not mired in academia.
Tim Baumgartner
Aug 02, 2015 Tim Baumgartner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a GREAT book that was given to me in a staff meeting at PazNaz Church in Pasadena, California. It's very famous in Christian leadership circles and has influenced people for decades. I typically read a chapter a night before I went to bed. It was convenient for me as each chapter was between 4-8 pages on a variety of topics as to how to grow and become an effective leader representing Jesus.

There are NUMEROUS things that were helpful in reading this (I hope to re-read this periodically
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“If a man is known by the company he keeps, so also his character is reflected in the books he reads.” 31 likes
“We should always aim to read something different=not only the writers with whom we agree, but those with whom we are ready to do battle. Their point of view challenges us to examine the truth and to test their views...and let us not comment on nor criticize writers of whom we have heard only second-hand, or third-hand without troubling to read their works for ourselves...Don't be afraid of new ideas.” 18 likes
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