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BOOK REVIEW: Leaders’ guide only for beginners David Mosser, Sep 17, 2010
By David Mosser Special Contributor
Tilt: Small Shifts in Leadership that Make a Big Difference Erik Rees and Jeff Jernigan Abingdon Press, 2010 209 pages, paperback
Erik Rees, an assistant pastor at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, and co-author Jeff Jernigan of West Community Friends Church in Carona, Calif., assert that a slight shift in perspective can make all the difference in a church leader’s ability to function effectively.
First, they focus on empowering senior leaders, and then they deal with empowering others to lead as well. Finally, they explore how to sustain leadership, emphasizing that a leader can prepare and equip believers to take full advantage of their life in God.
The book has sold well for Abingdon, but in some respects it’s hard to understand why. Although written in a conversational style, most of its ideas are not exactly groundbreaking. The authors suggest leaders should get closer to God and to their families; that’s good counsel, but haven’t we heard this before?
Mr. Rees and Mr. Jernigan use no less than 10 Bible translations to help make their points, but they fail to cite even once the New Revised Standard Version (the default translation of the United Methodist Publishing House). A detractor might suggest that using so many translations exposes a desperate search for biblical support.
Perhaps churches and organizations that work with beginning leaders can make abundant use of the tools and group exercises in Tilt. But veteran readers of solid books on the topic—from authors like Stephen Covey, Peter Drucker, Max DePree and Peter Senge—will be disappointed.
The Rev. Mosser is senior minister at First UMC in Arlington, Texas.