Luther on Leadership edited by David D. Cook—Book Review

This book was published in 2017 amid a plethora of Luther books due to 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  Unlike many books that focus on Luther’s legacy, life and theology, this one takes a different approach:  what can we learn from Martin Luther’s leadership style?

Nobody can deny that great change came as a result of Luther’s convictions and his life.  Here is a quote from the book:

The legacy of any leader can be measured by the positive change he cements
in his own organization, nation, or culture. While many leaders
across the millennia have created change in their society, few have caused such
broad-based change as Martin Luther. Someone surveying Europe in 1600
would have found a cultural milieu that was markedly different than what
was present just a hundred years before, in 1500. For a society that had not
changed markedly in a thousand years, the seismic shift that Luther brought
in the span of a few decades was remarkable. From the church, to government,
law, education, and economics, the hue of society was drastically different because
of the leadership of Martin Luther and his fellow Reformers.

What was it that made Luther such an effective leader?  This is the question the book sets out to answer.

The first section does review Luther’s life and legacy.  For the Lutherans among our readers, this may be a review of facts they already know.  The second deals with different modern models of leadership, comparing Luther to these models.  Each section is written by a different author.  Topics covered include:

  • Luther as a change agent
  • Luther as an adaptive leader
  • Luther as a transformational leader
  • Luther as a pastoral leader
  • Luther as a servant leader

I found this book interesting and readable.  It is well written, clear and while referring to many academic models of leadership does not bog down in academic terms that lose the average lay person.  I came away with a better sense of Luther as a leader we can learn from today.  While his circumstances and personality were unique, all church leaders can learn from his dedication to Biblical truth as well as his ability to communicate his vision to followers and energize them for God’s work.

Verdict:  I was given a pdf copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a blog review.  I give it five stars.  Ask your Pastor to add it to the church library!  For ordering information follow the link below:

https://wipfandstock.com/luther-on-leadership.html

 

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