Top critical review
It's general but without depth
on January 28, 2012
Courageous Leadership is a book targeting church leaders or pastors, with a belief that the Church of Christ can influence and change the world when church leaders can do their job right. B. Hybels tries to cover different topics within twelve chapters under the following categories:
1. Introduction: important of church and leadership (chapter 1)
2. Vision (chapter 2-3)
3. Resources management, preparation & generation (chapter 4-6)
4. Leadership development (chapter 7-9)
5. Spirituality of leadership (chapter 10-12)
As a leadership book, it really tries to cover more topics and discussions than other regular leadership book would do. For example, resource management is usually not having much discussion in the category of leadership, but they might fall under other book category, like management or organization behavior. Also, it is good to have lots of author's personal experience and references on how he went through those stages and what prove to be working for him. Therefore, it serves as a good introductory book of Christian leadership. It gives a broad and big picture for people who are new toward Christian leadership.
Despite its strength, this book does not give enough discussion and study toward any specific topic or area. For example, B. Hybels already uses two chapters to discuss vision, but it still might not give you enough detail or tools to help drawing a vision for your church. In other word, it requests reader to go for a more specific reference to learn about how to define vision for a congregation or a para-church. This situation applies to the other topics in this book as well. Also, this book has a loose structure, like chapter 9 (The Art of Self-Leadership) and chapter 10 (A Leader's Prayer), which does not fit into the flow very well. This might reveals another problem by borrowing the ideas from other authors without carefully integrating it into his style or make it more suitable to his tone. Chapter 9 (The Art of Self-Leadership) and chapter 11 (The Leader's Pathway) are some of those rough jobs. However, what I find this book less favourable to me because it is too personal. Even though it is good for him to share his successful experience, but it does not give out much room to discuss how some of his theory would work in other church with different size, traditions, culture, and so on. As a result, I do not consider it as a good book overall.