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Spiritual Leadership

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  5,799 ratings  ·  263 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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Barbara Have you found Spiritual Leadership by Saunders, yet?
I borrowed a copy through my county's library program, Inter Library Loan.
Now that I read this…more
Have you found Spiritual Leadership by Saunders, yet?
I borrowed a copy through my county's library program, Inter Library Loan.
Now that I read this book that was recommended by John C. Maxwell as one of the most influential books he read as a young man, I want to purchase a copy, too.
Amazon has the copy I read . . .
Spiritual Leadership - Completely Updated Text with Study Guide - Commitment to Spiritual Growth Series - Paperback - Second Revision 1994
I liked the extensive updated notes and a great small group study guide.

Barnes & Noble has a 2017 version: Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence For Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders(less)

Community Reviews

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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,799 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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Jul 23, 2011 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 Timeâ€, 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 gre
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: school, church
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
Jacob Wischoff
Oct 14, 2015 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
Max Cojevnicov
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Excellent book.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Me encanta la practicidad y profundidad del libro así como la riqueza de su contenido y referencias bibliográficas. Recomendado 100%
Apr 26, 2011 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
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Dustin Brown
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: internship-books
One of my favorite books of the year I’ve read! As I’m training to be a missionary this book was a capsulized version of every missionary leadership quality I’ve been taught elsewhere, so wise and helpful. Biggest part that I love is how practical and spiritual it is, the emphasis on missions is wonderful and finally pushing being a servant and not just a manager when you lead.
Andrew Hall
Dec 25, 2012 rated it liked it
should read again....and again and again
Barnabas Piper
Sep 08, 2013 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.
Craig Adams
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the most helpful and insightful reads on leadership I've found to date!
I LOVE THIS BOOK~ This book is an excellent resource for leadership. Every serious Christian should read this. This was a library book. But I am going to buy it.
Stephen Drew
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although this isn’t a long read some how it took me quite a while to work through. But, I do think that is the way this book is supposed to be read. It is broken down into devotional style meditations on scripture, some of them mediocre, some pure gold. In my opinion the very best few chapters came near the end of the book.

For anyone who has done other reading on Christian leadership many of the concepts covered will not be new. Things such as having a servants heart, being filled with the Spir
Patrick Chester
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Spiritual Leadership" was recommended to me by a friend in Christian ministry. It presents a series of speeches given by J. Oswald Sanders on the topic of leadership from a Christian perspective. Though I am not a minister, I found the book to be challenging and engaging. At the end of each chapter, there are a few questions that help you to reflect on what you just read and apply it to your own life. This is the kind of book that needs to be read slowly, preferably not more than 1 chapter a da ...more
Friday Otuya
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Spiritual leadership is one of the best books I have ever read on Christian leadership. This book is special to me because it draws its guiding principles and precepts from the Holy Bible; not from worldly standards. The vital scriptural values and convictions it puts forward can make a true spiritual leader out of anyone who is willing.
The author xrays the life of great christian leaders, showing the aspiring leader that it is possible to be great by following after the steps of the great (Heb
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Less successful as a book than as a patchwork of aphorisms, quotations, nuggets of wisdom, anecdotes, and whatnot. Came from a series of addresses, and indeed reads as such. Sometimes Sanders' use of the biblical text is rather arbitrary and decontextualised, but his heart is definitely in the right place.

It was out of date when it was written back in the 60s, but that is as much a strength as a weakness - whatever is in date is about to go off, anyhow. One can find any number of fashionable bo
Jeremy Silva
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeremy by: Bruce Robinson
Spiritual Leadership is powerful, deep and densely compacted with substance. I take notes when listening and this book had me stopped every few seconds writing notes. Having read or listened to 50 books in the past six months, this is one of the top 5. Will be listening to this again, worth re-reading every year in my opinion.

There are a multitude of applications for spiritual leadership. The wisdom in this book will benefit anyone involved in ministry of any capacity. The material is also rele
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by my Bible Study Fellowship Teaching Leader, Lisa Bate, and it was very beneficial! Even though it was originally published 50 years ago, the principles shared are timeless and very relevant. A key message is that while leadership is challenging, spiritual leadership is even more demanding. Thanks to God's gift of the Holy Spirit, you can rely on Him to get through the tough times. I especially appreciated the biblical references to inspirational leaders: Moses, ...more
Wavey Cowpar
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very good, clear and readable book on Christian Leadership. The author takes various topics and spends a few pages delving into each. I would say that it is only introductory. There is a wide range of topics covered in this book, but the price of a wide scope is a shallow depth. Don’t expect all the answers, and don’t expect this book to revolutionize your life or your ministry. However, what you will find in the pages is encouragement in leadership, rebuke in wrongdoing, an ...more
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I took my time reading this book - a chapter a week over a pot of tea when I was in early enough for the office to be empty. I’m so glad I did as it meant I could ruminate over the challenges and encouragements found. At times I found it to based on a quite old-fashioned view of ministry, but that rarely impacted negatively on my reading - in fact, sometimes it was quite the opposite! The book was rich in scriptural references, and quotes from significant Christian figures, and I found it so ins ...more
Phillip Howell
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good Intro & Overview

All the chapters are short and sweet. This is a good introduction and overview of the differences between a leader in the eyes of the world and a leader in the eyes of God. Each chapter is a brief mediation on a passage of scripture that has profound implications on leadership. It is a clear, easy to read and pretty straightforward book. It could be a useful tool for discipling young people in leadership and in many areas they may have not considered.
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Insightful and helpful book which describes characteristics of spiritual leaders with a lot of Scripture references to cast strong vision for leading God's people. Just over halfway through, I had difficulty finishing as chapters grew longer and I began to wonder whether any could aspire to such lofty standards pulled from all Scripture. I finished the book, by the grace of God with which I rely upon while leading others!
Jaymes Lauser
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: must-read
This is a book to be invested in. Not only in long, focused, hours of study and attention, but also in spiritual and emotional attentiveness. It is rich in wisdom and deeply challenging. If heeded, it will revolutionize your influence on those around you and on yourself. Everyone is a leader because everyone has influence. Therefore, everyone should read this book.
Andrew Canavan
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book on leadership. It's most applicable to ministry or church contexts but would be helpful to any Christian in any position of leadership. I most appreciated Sanders' working through the qualifications for leadership found in the Pauline epistles. This book was challenging, convicting, and encouraging.
Dónal Walsh
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good book, Biblical and ton of examples of leaders spiritual and not to bring out his points. Good to read in bite sized portions as there is much to pray over in seeking God to make us fitting for the type of leadership he sets out. Some points here and there might disagree with but overall well written, manageable and an inspiring view of biblical leadership
Dave Rench
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a very good book. At the end of the day, spiritual leadership is all about serving others. This book explores how that plays itself out in many categories, including my motives, during prayer, obstacles faced as a leader, and how to delegate and train others to lead. Produced some good discussion in our small group.
Mark Schleier
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great read on spiritual leadership. I enjoyed the theological/philosophical angles Sanders uses throughout. It's a little scattered, which makes it hard to digest the book as a whole, and gain clear/actionable application to life. Over all, though, I will re-reading this many times and plan to lead a small group on it. Definitely recommend!
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is a great book for anyone in the church, not just "official" leaders. It was recommended to me as women's small group leader. I pray that I will reread it again and really practice these principles in all areas of my life.
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J. OSWALD SANDERS (1902-1992) was a Christian leader for nearly seventy years and authored more than forty books on the Christian life including The Incomparable Christ, Spiritual Discipleship, Spiritual Leadership, and Spiritual Maturity. He left a promising law practice in his native New Zealand to serve as an instructor and administrator at the Bible College of New Zealand. Dr. Sanders later be ...more
“If a man is known by the company he keeps, so also his character is reflected in the books he reads.” 38 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.” 20 likes
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