The Leadership Formula by Juan Sanchez–Book Review

The first thing you need to understand about this book, is the author’s primary focus: pastoral leadership.  In his denomination (Baptist), this also includes elders, some of whom (vocational pastors) will eventually pursue fulltime ministry at other churches, and others (non-vocational pastors) who provide for themselves through secular careers while also helping to shepherd their local congregation.  He also holds the position that only men should fill these offices.  As I am unfamiliar with his church polity, it took time for me to grasp some of his points.

In any case, Pastor Sanchez relies heavily on 1 Timothy, Titus and 1 Peter to establish the qualifications for pastor/elder (terms that are used interchangeably).  These men should:

  • Exhibit godly character
  • Maintain biblical convictions
  • Lovingly care for the congregation
  • Display competency in handling the Bible

Once such men are identified, their leadership potential must be observed and developed over a sufficient period of time to establish credibility with the congregation.  This is a very important point.  It takes time for true character to be revealed, and it is better to proceed slowly than end up with leaders who are not qualified or lack self-control.  He also stresses the need for continual learning in leaders.  They should be constantly studying the Bible, theology and other Christian resources.

Each of the leadership components is discussed fully in its’ own chapter.  The book also reviews the foundation for leadership as set forth in Genesis.  Briefly, humans were created by God to represent His sovereign rule and loving care over creation.  While equal bearers of God’s image, Adam and Eve were given different roles:  Adam is to lead, Eve is his suitable and complementary follower.  Sin, of course corrupts this divine pattern when Adam fails to take responsibility and Eve manipulates.  The curse now affects both sexes as they battle to control one another.  This leads to leadership which is either too passive, or too tyrannical.

There are two chapters at the end that do discuss leadership in the home and leadership in the world. These are applicable to all Christians. Some Appendices with various documents and questionnaires used at the author’s own church are included.  These define and further elaborate the various pastoral offices at High Pointe Baptist Church.

VERDICT:  2 STARS.  The important characteristics of a leader were well supported and biblically based. However Lutherans will find most application suggestions not feasible because of the differences in denominational organization.

If you would like to purchase this book follow the link below:

The Lutheran Ladies received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.  Disclaimer pursuant to FTC 16 CFR part 255.

For more on leadership see these posts:

Fanning the Flame #20 –The Leadership Dynamic

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

Servant Leadership





Preaching By The Book – A Book Review

This book is the second in a series published through Hobbs College Library (part of OBU).  I will start off by saying that this book is not for the average layperson.  It is a deep study of the formation of sermons.  The author of this book, R. Scott Pace is a distinguished writer and professor who utilizes his experience to assist pastors in developing their sermon style.


The book is divided into the following three sections:  Foundation, Framework, Finishing Touches; within each section of these three sections are the sublevels of sermon writing.  In foundation, the reader is given information about the inspiration and investigation into the sermon topic.  He advises the reader that unless the foundation is solid (Based on the Word of God) the rest will falter.  The next section, framework, progresses into interpretation and implementation of the Word and how to study and use the information received to write a sermon.  The final section, Finishing Touches goes into introductions, illustrations, invitations, and conclusions.


Throughout the book, Mr. Pace stresses the importance of using the truth of God’s word in your sermons.  He also stresses the impact of a personality in a sermon.  I can identify with that because I am more apt to actually hear a sermon that has a personality to it.  I do not mean the pastor is acting like an idiot, but just that their individual personality shines through the words they are speaking.


Even though this book is not geared towards laypeople, but towards pastors, I enjoyed learning about structuring sermons and how to make sure they follow a good format.


I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars and a must for those starting to deliver God’s word.


I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review by B&H Publishing.

Blest Be the Tie That Binds

Perhaps you think of this as a hymn about marriage.  In researching, however, I found that it really speaks of the love between a Pastor and his congregation.  It was written by John Fawcett, who was born in 1740 in Yorkshire, England.  As a young tailor’s apprentice he became a Christian, and was often asked to speak at the Baptist church he attended.  When he was 25 and newly wed, he was asked to pastor a small church in Wainsgate.  The parish was quite poor, and often John and his wife were paid in potatoes and other produce.  It was hard to make ends meet.  After seven years at Wainsgate, he received a call from a larger, more prestigious congregation, able to pay him a much higher salary.  The family packed up to leave, but in the end, his wife, Mary said she didn’t see how they could leave the people who had come to mean so much to them.  John wrote this hymn as an expression of that love.

Obey Your Leaders

“Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account.  Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Hebrews 13:17

Many of you know that Hebrews is my favorite book of the Bible, and so I couldn’t let the month go by without seeing what the author had to say about obedience.  These verses come from the last chapter which is titled (at least in the NIV) “concluding exhortations.”  It contains a list of instructions to the church.  I encourage you to read this entire chapter, as it gives a wealth of good advice, boiled down to succinct statements about how Christians should behave as part of the body of Christ.

Anyway, back to our leaders.  As the wife of a Pastor, I can tell you it is not an easy job.  In fact, it’s not a job at all –it’s a calling.  Most of the pastors I know would not say they chose to be a pastor because it matched their talents, gave them a steady salary or earned them respect and recognition.  They are pastors because it’s what God wants them to do and they can’t refuse to do it without great pain.

My husband is fond of saying that the pastor is not the CEO of the church.  He is not our “boss.”  God did not give him to us as a manager, or administrator, but as a teacher, mentor and leader.  Submitting to our pastor and other church leaders, like submitting to our spouse, should not be what we have to do, it should be what we want to do.

Submitting to someone you are in a loving relationship with does not mean you can never express your opinions or disagree.  It does not mean you cannot ask questions.  It does not mean you can’t try to change their way of looking at things.  I does mean you recognize that person has your best interests at heart, and you should listen respectfully and thoughtfully to what they tell you.  If that person is an authority, you should obey them.

My husband (and other pastors) are not happy to have members blindly accept whatever he says.  He is also not happy when members simply walk away and abandon the congregation because they don’t like something he said or did.  He is happy when a member listens, and if he or she disagrees, studies the subject and asks questions.  He is happy when someone who is upset with him comes to him and talks the issue over.  These kinds of responses lead to spiritual growth and maturity, and trust me, this is what your pastor wants to see in you and in others!

So make your pastor joyful in his task.  Learn from him.  Love him.  Pray for him.  Obey him, because God has given to you.

What Stands Out?-Hebrews Chapter 5

“For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.  Because of this, he is obligated to sacrifice for his own sins just as he does for those of the people.  And no on takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, as Aaron was.” Hebrews 5:1-4

Maybe it’s because I’m a pastor’s wife, or maybe because this month we are studying the church, but the verses above stand out to me in Chapter 5.  Of course, the chapter goes on to tell us that Jesus has become our high priest, and he is both the perfect priest and the perfect sacrifice for our sins.

Still, here on earth we also have earthly priests, the ministers who serve our congregations. The AFLC calls them “servant pastors.”  Hopefully our pastors try to set a good example, to point us toward Jesus, to teach us and lead us. This is not an easy job, but one they have been called by God to do.  However, they are NOT perfect.  Setting them on a pedestal will lead to disillusionment and disappointment.

Pastors sin and need to repent everyday, just like we do. Sometimes they feel discouraged. Sometimes they feel alone. Sometimes they need understanding and support. Sometimes they need forgiveness. They always need prayer and encouragement.  There is an old saying, “if you want a better preacher, pray for the one you have.”

So, I hope on reading these verses, you will remember your Pastor, the Elders and other leaders of your congregation and do something to let them know you appreciate the work they do for God and for you.  They are God’s gift to your church.

God loves you and so do I!