Zondervan, 2017. 230pp.
In How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge: Leveraging Influence When You Lack Authority, Clay Scroggins leverages years of serving in various degrees of leadership to inspire budding leaders to abandon their bents towards complaining and passivity when things are less than optimal. Instead, he invites his readers to reimagine leadership and carefully take up the mandate to faithfully lead out from where they are for the good of others. With flare and a touch of corniness, Scroggins presents a theology of leadership rooted in the imago Dei and gaining an appropriate view of one’s unique self. His constant charge for rising leaders is from them to not wait until they are given a title to lead, but instead to take the initiative to use whatever influence or resources they have for the good of those around them. He does this by provided not only four behaviors that will help a leader grow the depth and width of their influence, but also by providing practical insights on how to wisely and lovingly challenge authority to bring about change. However, in his calling leaders up, Scroggins is careful to caution against selfish ambition and coaches leaders to grow in humility and self-awareness.
Benefit for Pastoral Ministry
Though I rated this book “Pass It By,” some might find it helpful. If you are a lead pastor, this book provides some insight into how those serving under you might be feeling and thinking, particularly those with recurring frustrations about the current state of the church’s ministry. This book could help a pastor figure out how to meet them in there points of frustration and call them up to lead. It also could help a pastor the kind of leadership culture is necessary in order for them to ensure that those serving under them are thriving and sense that what they do matters. If you have previously read a few books on leadership it’s hard to say that Scroggins’ book offers any new insights or principles. That said, he does put these principles to practice in a context that many “middle management” church leaders find themselves in and offers some encouragement about how to constructively move forward.
If you are an ambitious and passionate church leader or layperson desiring to see change within your church, this book provides an understanding and refining friend in Scroggins. He winsomely and lovingly calls the reader up and out of passivity, fear, and unproductive complaining to help them assess how you can be an answer to the very problem your church is facing.
Essential — Recommended — Helpful — Pass It By