First Tested

For some time I have been reading a chapter a day of Bill Hybel’s book, Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs. I have thoroughly enjoyed being reminded of important church leadership principles through the use of quick stories which function like parables.

Hybels addresses a number of important issues that will be familair to anyone who has been involved in church leadership. I may not always agree with how Hybels deals with a particular situation, but reading his insights always makes me think through how I would act or react in a particular situation. One refreshing feature of this book that makes it real and accessible is that Hybels is not afraid to admit his mistakes and at times be very specific about how he has mishandled certain situations.

Check out the following from page 80.

“What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made as a leader?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions I’ve received since I began coaching pastors and church leaders.

My answer’s always the same: “Placing people in significant leadership roles who were not first tested.” Truly, most of the worst managerial calamities I’ve caused — ones in which people got deeply hurt — can be traced back to my being overly optimistic putting people in roles they were ill equipped to play.

More times than I care to admit, I shouldered people with meaningful ministry responsibility before I’d adequately assessed their spiritual depth, their relational savvy, their capacity to operate effectively within a team environment, and their ability to deal with a crisis. Time and again, a stiff penalty was paid by all.

Hybels goes on in this short chapter to tell of ways he “first tested” men and women before they were entrusted with leadership roles.

If you are looking for a book that addresses common church problems with practical approaches, you might enjoy this easy-to-read book.

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