Book Reviews

Book Review: Spiritual Influence by Mel Lawrenz

June 8, 2013

mel lawrenz

There are thousands of books available these days on leadership.  The spiritual leader must be careful not to incorporate secular principles (even if they promote character and integrity) into his ministry.  Just because something works for a corporation doesn’t mean it is supposed to work in our churches.  Leadership, for the spiritual leader, must be rooted, grounded, and taught from a biblical perspective under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

In his book Spiritual Influence, Mel Lawrenz reaffirms that our influence as leaders has to be rooted in the most powerful but often the most-overlooked force- the Holy Spirit of God.  This is a fresh, convicting, and articulate book that is sure to capture your attention and persuade your heart.  Lawrenz succeeds at dismissing all the typical talking points of leadership and writes from an authentic and genuinely spiritual perspective.  He not only convinces you to do something, he challenges you to be someone.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book.


“There is only one line of sight that will bring order to all our life and work: a vision of Christ seated at the right hand of God the Father, ruling with all justice and mercy.  Our influence only means something if it is plotted along that trajectory, and our work ultimately leads people to that same goal.” –Mel Lawrenz

“The only enduring influence we have to offer others is the influence God has in our own lives.” –Mel Lawrenz

“God uses millions of no-name influencers every day in the simplest selfless acts of service.  They are the teachers whose names will never be in the newspaper, pastors who will never author a book, managers who will never be profiled in a magazine, artists whose work is buried in layers of collaboration, writers whose sphere of influence is a few dozen people who read their blogs.  But they are the army that makes things happen.  To them devotion is its own reward.  For them influence is a continual act of giving, nothing more complicated than that.” –Mel Lawrenz

“No one really wants to follow you per se.  They really don’t.  They want to know that, by following you, they are really following a higher principle, a transcendent truth.  In spiritual followership, people want to know whether they are being led and influenced by God.” –Mel Lawrenz

“Leadership that is entirely self-directed will always be pathological.  The only thing worse than worshipping an idol is to act like an idol.” –Mel Lawrenz

“Influence is about the hidden forces that make visible results that have an enduring effect.” –Mel Lawrenz

“Spiritual pride and self-righteousness don’t rise up in us as a big noisy monster.  Rather, they whisper in our ear that we’re shining, that people are noticing us, that we’re better than others.  And then, hooked on the feeling, we have to keep feeding it, telling ourselves all along that our motives are pure.” –Mel Lawrenz

“We accept the reality that things are not the way they are supposed to be-and then we reject the idea that we will leave things that way.  We look out at the scenes in our neighborhoods, our churches, our countries, our world-and a deep longing makes our soul ache.  And then we get to work.” –Mel Lawrenz



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