Upside-Down Leadership by Taylor Field was a really refreshing read.
Because of my developing research and ministry interests, I’ve read a lot of leadership books, especially on leadership in the church and the kingdom, and after a while I can feel jaded because I’m not reading anything new. And, in some ways, the same is true of Field’s latest offering: there is little here that I have not heard said before. Nevertheless, I loved this book! It’s so great because the teaching about servant leadership is rooted solidly in the author’s practice as a church and ministry leader in an inner-city context. Yet personal experience is not the only source of his thinking and writing: he draws heavily on the lives of saints who have gone before us for inspiration and learnings on what he calls ‘unleadership’.
It was the final pages enumerating Field’s ‘gallery of unleaders’ which I loved the most. I’m not sure that Field would have intended this as it is almost an appendix to the main content of the book. But it is here that you can see those who have been Field’s mentors through their writing and living and I learned much from it. There were things about some of the unleaders whom Field names which I never knew; also, there were also a couple of names I had not come across before.
I’ve read a lot of review copies of various books in the last month or so (about twenty at the last count, I think). Most of them I could honestly take or leave. Perhaps such pickiness is the curse of reading too widely in the Christian popular writing market! So, please hear me all the more loudly when I say this: although there is not necessarily that much which is new in it, I really liked this book. I have highlighted more sections in it than is normal for me. I look forward to following up some of Field’s references in time. And, so, I wholeheartedly recommend it to you if you are in Christian leadership as a breath of fresh air.
It’s out sometime in April this year; you can pre-order it by clicking on the link above.
I received a free galley copy of this book through NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.