Designed to Lead, co-authored by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck, is a new release from B&H Publishing group and is bound to be a “go-to” for books on discipleship and leadership development.
My first thoughts on the book were skewed from the books I’ve read on discipleship/leadership development in the past. It seems that the majority of books on the topic have often been a regurgitation of the same principles within the evangelical world. Too often the same model for discipleship is presented under different authorship, and is predictable with the excessively layered quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bonhoeffer, and there is a reason The Cost of Discipleship is considered a classic. However, seeing that it is quoted as often as it is in discipleship literature, it seems borderline unnecessary to write something else when you can find a used copy of Bonhoeffer at pretty much any book store. That’s just my opinion. Maybe I’m being a bit cynical, maybe I’m not; regardless of such, Designed to Lead has broken the stereotypes that have given guys like me these initial impressions. Written to all who want to better understand the biblical mandate to disciple, I promise that Geiger and Peck will not disappoint.
After an introductory explanation of purpose, the first chapter of the book develops the framework for leadership development. Peck and Geiger lay out the three C’s that are central to this framework, and then finish with a Conclusion section; which is an encouraging word and testimony regarding the subject at hand, along with a scriptural overview of Jesus’ style of leadership development. The conclusion section was scripturally dense and practical for application. I found it very beneficial to my position in the church where I serve. The three C’s I mentioned earlier make up the body of the book:
The authors utilize these points as the core for the leadership development framework, which are presented to influence the reader to embrace the divine calling God has placed on every believer’s life, rather than market another discipleship program. This theme is prefaced early in the book as the reader is advised, “your church should be a leadership locus” (p. 1). Seeing that they provide their definition of Locus as, “a central or main place where something happens or is found”, the term makes a consistent appearance throughout the book. They then connect the church with leadership development, and urging the reader to realize that the church needs to be a Leadership Locus. Here is one of the several quotes from the book that stuck with me; which also resembles this mentality of the church as a leadership locus:
“There is a holy cause and effect in ministry. If we will make the training of the saints our holy cause, the effect is a healthy church.” (p. 35)
Conclusion: All in all, this book was a breath of fresh air for me. As I have already stated, it is both practical and scripturally robust. If I am honest, it really sold me with its uniqueness in these areas. There are too many discipleship books out there that are more focused on developing a program rather than being intentional with the way believers should engage with those we are called to disciple. Geiger and Peck have deviated from what I have come to know as the stereotype for discipleship reading, and raised the bar. If you are looking for a good page-turner that is will still challenge you with urgency, this is the book for you. Or, if you’re a fan of Austin Stone Worship’s music, it might intrigue you to know that one of the author’s (Kevin Peck) is the Lead pastor of Austin Stone Church. Either way, if you’re looking for an excuse to purchase a book, and want to guarantee your money will be well spent, this is the book for you. I’ve included a link to the website from which you can purchase the book here.
I would like to thank B&H Publishing Group for generously providing me with a copy of this book to review. This provision had no influence on my review of the book.