, Andrews University
A new book on Christian leadership seeks to fill a literary
void on what the Bible actually says about the issue.
Skip Bell, editor of the book, Servants and Friends: A
Biblical Theology of Leadership, said that Christians studying leadership
have long considered the case studies of many Biblical figures and drawn
helpful homiletical lessons.
But there has been very little work that has addressed the
foundational theological meaning that the Bible has to offer, and that is what
Bell and his co-authors have tackled in the book.
looks to the current roster of motivational speaker celebrities or to what is
trending in secular pop psychology,” said Bell, professor of leadership studies
and director of the Doctor of Ministry program at the Andrews University
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. “But the body of Christ — followers
of Jesus, serving in the community, the workplace, as in the church and its
institutions — must look seriously and deeply to the Bible.”
Bell began organizing the project in 2010. He brought
together a large group of his seminary colleagues with specialties in various
areas of biblical studies and systematic and applied theology. They envisioned
a book that would closely examine biblical language and concepts in the various
natural divisions of Scripture, section by section. They also would select some
of the major narratives and characters for further theological study.
The final roster of 20 contributors for the book consists of
13 teachers from Andrews University and seven others, including Jon Paulien
from Loma Linda University, Leslie N. Pollard from Oakwood University, and
Bernard J. Sauvagnat, an Adventist pastor from France.
Ronald Knott, director of Andrews University Press, which
released the book last month, said the result of their work is a highly
readable book of 21 chapters in 450 pages that is easily accessible to the
educated church member, and specifically useful as a textbook.
Knott noted that each chapter concludes with a reflection
section that provides helpful questions for applying the content to the reader’s
personal life and to situations in organizational leadership.
“Being the general editor of a book with so many different
contributors is a daunting task,” Knott said. “But from the beginning, he [Bell] knew
what his job was, and he fully embraced it.”
Knott said he expected Servants and Friends to be
received as a landmark publication in Christian leadership studies. For
starters, it will be the focus of the pre-session of the 4th Annual Andrews
University Leadership Conference, to be held July 26-28, 2014.
The book has received praise from Christian leaders who saw
the work prior to publication.
“I highly recommend Servants and Friends to students and
practitioners whose hearts crave the sacred integrity of leadership grounded in
the love of God and neighbor,” said Thomas F. Tumblin, dean of the Beeson
International Center and professor of leadership at Asbury Theological Seminary
in Wilmore, Kentucky.
Brian C. Richardson, chairman of the Department of
Leadership in the Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Ministry at
the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, said: “The
authors demonstrate that true spiritual leadership is more than the practice of
certain principles, but is also a part of the ‘spiritual pursuit.’ For
those engaged in spiritual leadership and management this book provides a vital
Bell has been a member of the seminary faculty at Andrews
University since 2000. He is the founding director of the university’s
Christian Leadership Center and holds a DMin degree from Fuller Theological
Servants and Friends: A Biblical Theology of
Leadership is available in print and digital editions from major online
book retailers, and in print directly from Andrews University Press at universitypress.andrews.edu.
July leadership conference at Andrews University: