As a struggling small group / ministry leader thought that it was about time that i go my head around the whole topic of leadership. I seem to blunder from one road crash to another, so i decided to get some help. Having asked around a few people came back with same answer, “You should read Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels”. Standing in the bookshop at North08 i could not see anything that took my fancy until my eyes landed on the book i had been told to read, so paying my handful of quid for it I trudged back to my tent (there was no other way of walking it was ankle deep mud remember!) and started to read.

Bill Hybelsis the leader of the Willow Creek church in the US. I have read a few of his books in the past and found them to easy to access and downright challenging. So opening up the book I soon found myself in typical Hybels country.

The book is an excellent starting point for anyone who is about to start is in or has been leading for a long time.

Starting with discussing the importance of leadership in the church it soon gets into the nitty gritty of leadership.

One of the first and probably the most important of the chapters talks about vision, the need for vision, how to get a vision, how to pass that vision on, how to encourage people to take part in that vision. Many leaders today do not know how to visioncast as Hybels calls it. Getting people caught up in the vision Jesus has for that church / ministry.

He then goes on to discuss how to build a team by looking for people with competency, character and chemistry.

Then he starts to throw down the gauntlet of challenge by looking at resourcing the vision. How do you get the cash / funds / materials to do what it is Father is calling you to do.

That ends the first subset of the book. Moving swiftly on to look at how do you develop young and emerging leaders, he gives a number of pointers for older / mature leaders to aid them fulfil this difficult task.

The final section of the book looks at you as a leader. He discusses things like decision making and how to lead yourself, how to walk with God in your leadership and developing an enduring spirit, how to keep going when all is falling apart or obstacles are in your way.

This is all done in Hybels usual style… look this is how I failed this task, and this is how I / we put it right. He is very candid about is mistakes and errors and gives a lot of Glory to Jesus for the rescues that are made.

He also obviously spends time with business leaders from outside of the churches and he uses these as examples of things he has learned.

For me one of the most inspired bits is a section when he looks at various leaders in the Bible and prays through their (main) leadership quality as follows




Capacity to love


Personal Holiness








Emotional authenticity








His prayer is “please Lord, make me as optimistic as David” etc. I thought this was amazing as in it he spoke of his own weaknesses and looked to Jesus for his strength.

So over all is the book any good?

YES, I firmly recommend it to anyone who is in leadership or will be in leadership in the future. This should be one every leaders bookshelf.

Cost me £7.99 you can probably get it cheaper on amazon etc

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