Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

Reviewed by: Alyssa Farrell, a Professional Writing major at Taylor University



Title: Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

Author: Ruth Haley Barton

Publisher: InterVarsity Press

Publication Date: 2018

Format: Print book

Length: 251 pages


Many in Christian leadership positions feel they are missing something. Ruth Haley Barton writes that she is “convinced that the More that we are looking for is the transformation of our souls in the presence of God” (14). Barton believes spiritual leadership should overflow from a soul satisfied by God. The essence of leadership, then, is seeking God in the depths of our souls.

This book is structured around the story of Moses. Moses found the soul of leadership because he continually relied on God through challenges. She concludes that “strengthening the soul of our leadership is an invitation that begins, continues and ends with seeking God in the crucible of ministry” (210). The book explores what this looks like practically in leadership, covering the practice of paying attention, solitude, intercessory prayer, living in community, and more.

Although Barton provides instrumental insights into what the soul of ministry should be, her style and voice could be refined. While generally dense, the text also contains ineffective embellishments. Here is an example that captures both of these elements: “Then, rather than offering the cold stone of past devotionals, regurgitated apologetics and someone else’s musings about the spiritual life, we will have bread to offer that is warm from the oven of our intimacy with God” (29). Nevertheless, the content will be beneficial for dedicated readers in Christian leadership positions.


Rating (1 to 5)

3 stars

Suggested Audience

Men and women in Christian leadership positions

Christian Impact

Guides Christian leaders to the heart of healthy leadership in ministry


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Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.

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