Book Review: “The Conviction To Lead” (Albert Mohler)

conviction-to-lead-thumbWe have all heard the saying, “everything rises and falls on leadership.” Leadership books, seminars, and conferences flood the landscape of our church culture. In fact, I spent several hours earlier this week sitting through a leadership seminar presented by our local association in conjunction with our state convention. One serious concern I have is that a great deal of this leadership training finds its foundation in corporate America. Much of what is served up as “Christian” leadership consists of nothing more than secular leadership theory sprinkled with a few Bible verses.

Enter… stage right… Dr. Albert Mohler’s book, The Conviction To Lead. Concerning the purpose of the book, he wrote, “Let me warn you right up front – my goal is to change the way you think about leadership. I do not aim merely to add one more voice to the conversation; I want to fundamentally change the way leadership is understood and practiced.” Having read the book, I think he succeeds.

The Conviction To Lead contains 25 chapters (it is definitely not a short read) that focus on various aspects of leadership ranging from the leader’s purpose to the leader’s time to the leader’s legacy. Wisdom oozes from every chapter in this book and Dr. Mohler’s transparency is refreshing. He shared various struggles he encountered in his own leadership journey and how these challenges helped shaped him as a leader. Most importantly, Mohler approached leadership from a biblical perspective and allowed Scripture to shape what a leader should be and do.

I would recommend this book to every leader or aspiring leader regardless of vocation. In fact, I would even recommend this book to non-believers because I believe Mohler grapples with some aspects of leadership that go deeper than surface level theories and skills. His premise is that leaders are shaped by what they believe and every leader must identify the values and convictions that serve as the foundation for their leadership. As believers, this foundation is Jesus Christ. In my estimation, reading this book could help a non-believer recognize that their “foundation” is much like the shifting sand that Jesus says the foolish man built his house upon.

Buy this book. Marinate in its truth. Allow it to challenge and grow you as a leader. Buy a copy for your church staff or a friend!

Favorite Quotes

“Convictions are not merely beliefs we hold; they are those beliefs that hold us in their grip. We would not know who we are but for these bedrock beliefs, and without them we would not know how to lead.”

“Convictional intelligence is the product of learning the Christian faith, diving deeply into biblical truth, and discovering how to think like a Christian.”

“No organization that exists simply for itself is worth leading. Leaders want to lead organizations and movements that make a difference – that fill a need and solve real problems.”

“A God-centered worldview brings every issue, question, and cultural concern into submission to all that the Bible reveals, and frames all understanding within the ultimate purpose of bringing greater glory to God.”

“We cannot buy passion, nor can we simply decide to be passionate. Passion must arise out of conviction. It cannot come any other way.”

“Far too often leaders aim at the surface level and stop there. Real leadership doesn’t happen until worldviews are changed and realigned. You might be able to lead a group to build a house without trying to shape worldviews, but you cannot build a movement that way.”