“A Critical Review of: “Being Leaders.”
Mr. David Gunn
Clarks Summit University
In Partial Fulfillment of
the Requirements for the course
TH608 – Leadership Strategies for Apologetics Ministries
In the Division of Apologetics
Andrew Thomas Knight
DMIN Luther Rice Seminary, 2014
MRE West Coast Baptist College, 2010
MBS Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, 2004
BB Pensacola Christian College, 1994
July 1, 2017
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Malphur’s Stated Objectives and Purposes…………………….…….. 2
A Positive Analysis of Malphur’s Book……………..……………….. 3
A Negative Analysis of Malphur’s Book…..……..…………………… 4
The Final Analysis of Malphur’s Book….…………………………………. 5
INITIAL SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY …………………………………… 6
This student will first review the stated objectives and purposes of this book, “Being a
Leader: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership.” Secondly he will give a brief analysis of
the more notably positive aspects of this work. Thirdly, we will discuss any area of analysis that
may be lacking. Finally, a conclusion on this students’ analysis will be offered for consideration
and though relative to leadership in the ministry.
Malhur’s Stated Objectives and Purposes
Malphur’s stated objectives of this book by asking the following questions: “What is a
leader, and am I one?” Next, “What is leadership and is that what I bring to my ministry?”
Malphur also discussed, “And how can we talk about leadership, much less develop leaders, if
we don’t know what we’re talking about or don’t know what it is we’re trying to develop?”
Maphur than offers his stated purposes to be fulfilled in his book.
Malphur’s stated purpose are as follows, (1) “Define Christian leadership based on the
Scriptures and Christian leadership research over the past two centuries; (2) Define and
develop their concepts of leadership.”
A Positive Analysis of Malphur’s Book
The first Scripture Malphur used to describe leadership was taken from I Corinthians
11:1 “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” was an excellent place to begin in
one’s describing biblical leadership. Malphur has done a very good job of outlining his book,
which makes is easier to read and is a teaching tool for better comprehension. Malphur uses a
good mixture of theological principles, testimonies, and practical solutions. Malphur did well to
explain that bishops, elders and overseers all hold the same office of Pastor. He stated, “Paul
calls for the elders of the church at Ephesus, and in verse 28 he refers to them as overseers,
which is the meaning of the term bishop.” It is imperative that when discussing Christian
leadership that the correct hermeneutics and theological practice of Leadership in the New
Testament local church is employed.
Malphur also does a good job of giving the outline of what he will be covering in each
chapter ahead of time. This is also a good teaching tool, and shows the book is well laid out.
Malphur has done a good job of titling each chanter heading, as well as a good job of charting
and referencing biblical characters in columns. This is also a good teaching technique which
helped to make this work so effective. Malphur gave good instructive questions in each of the
chapters. As different philosophies the he discussed Malphur offered both pluses and negatives at
each point. Malphur’s book was an effective tool in understanding biblical leadership, and how
to discern the differing variations of the practice of leadership.
A Negative Analysis of Malphur’s Book
The negative aspects of this book are very minimal, but one core issue stands out to this
student. At the heart of the discussion of this book is, “What is a leader? And am I one?” In
most of these chapters Malphur spends an enormous amount of time discussing other than what
this student thinks of as a biblical definition of leadership, which is simplified for us by our Lord
when He stated in Matthew 9:9” And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named
Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me.” The Follow me”
theory was certainly touched on by Malphur but does not seem to have been the driving theory or
final conclusion. Being a servant was discussed in chapter two and though every leader must be
a servant he must primarily be a follower first. Having a servant’s heart is a byproduct of
following close to Christ.
The following chapters discussed being credible, capable, and influential leaders, which
none get to the heart of the matter, what is a leader? Not the results, not the mission, not even the
Great Commission. A leader is one that follows Christ closely. And the closer one follows the
greater the leader. Malphur did mention following Christ in a sub point, but if that was his thesis
of the book it should have been driven home continually. The book was in fact helpful and
though well laid out the main thesis might have been clearer and the main question could have
been made with greater definition.
The Final Analysis of Malphur’s Book was that it was all very good and very biblical.
Most every chapter had some practicality to it. The eighth chapter offered a list of things for
leaders to put into practice in the local church, such as determining ones where one fits into the
ministry, creating a visual such as mission’s statement and a vision statement. All very good and
practical but did not seem to definitively answer the main question, “what is a leader?” What he
did do was to define leadership outcomes. He defined leadership characteristics. He defined
some development leadership concepts. All in all it was well written and it is always good to
read about Christian leadership.
INITIAL SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPGY
Malphur, Aubrey. Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2003.