Book Review: Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz

I had high expectations when I picked up a copy of Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz. I had listened to his podcast years ago when he interviewed Christian author and teachers. By his questions I knew he was insightful, his ministry journey in following Stuart Briscoe I knew he knew leadership transitions. In reading his weekly posts in the Brook Network I had seen how he understood influence.

I had high expectations for this book and they were met, but not as I expected. When an author says there will be no personal anecdotes, I go oh oh. Then I read the following statement because there are so many other compelling stories.

Some books you zip through either on a long plane flight or an afternoon in a comfortable chair. This book is great to read a chapter a day and let it brew, give time to ponder, to think and to grow.

The book has a complimentary web site at TheInfluenceProject.com. I checked it out after I read the book, I’d recommend you check it out before. The web site provides “The Personal Inventory“, a place to rate how you are doing on each chapter. I wish I had that with me when I read each chapter.

My one suggestion for the book would be to add some questions to guide reflection in processing the compelling stories from life today and from the pages of the Bible.

Where some leadership books you pick and choose the chapters you read, this one is best read all the way through. The 4 parts from getting grounded to taking initiative to going deep to facing challenges are worth the daily investment over a month to look at influence (a word Mel uses in some ways interchangeable with leadership). Too often leadership gets caught up in position, leadership at its best looks at the influence we all have in life and how that is leveraged even more when we follow God’s influence in and through our leadership.

My favorite part of the book are chapters 12-14 that show the relationship between receive power, accept authority, and promote truth. He ties the dynamic of the three together, and makes it unique with the promote truth perspective.

Though the book did not have any of Mel’s personal anecdotes, the stories were indeed compelling and greatly appreciated.

I give the book 5 out of 5 stars. For those looking for a great leadership training resource and discussion tool, the bite size chapters provided good  food to chew on and even better to grow one’s leadership. It’s a tool I will pick up again and again, and look forward to sharing with those on my leadership team.

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