For too long Christian leaders have equated high-quality leadership with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Congregations searching for pastors look for the person who can balance budgets and raise money, has expertise in theology, is strong in administration and, above all, can “perform” well on the platform. As Diane Langberg writes in Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church, “Leadership is thus reduced to a never-ending treadmill of acquiring more and better skills and achieving impressive results.”

In Jesus Centered, Dr. Steve Brown takes us on a different journey. While not discounting the value of having certain skills, Brown brings us back to the basics of ministry engagement. “Choosing to follow Jesus is the starting point for becoming Jesus-centered,” he writes. As I read those words, I found myself saying, “I knew that!” and yet the reminder served to reignite the desire. Brown’s subtitle, “Focusing on Jesus in a Distracted World,” indicates where he’s going with the book. As he notes, “Our world is filled with distractions … but they won’t transform your life.” To be Jesus-centred, Brown writes, “we must abide in Jesus. How do we abide? By realizing our utter dependency on him.” Being Jesus-centred means developing a biblical mindset that translates into Christlike behaviours, attitudes and priorities. It means responding to situations as Jesus did because our hearts are set on him. It means establishing rhythms that keep us restored spiritually, physically and relationally. It means “resisting temptation and choosing to pursue holiness,” Brown writes.

Brown’s book is filled with recommendations and practical steps to help readers become Jesus-centred. This change in focus will affect how you live, how you lead and how you impact the world for Jesus in both good and challenging circumstances. As Brown notes, “When we fix our eyes on Jesus during the difficult times, we are emboldened by his presence. We are encouraged by his example, we are empowered by his strength.”

Jesus Centered will bring us back to the basics of intentionally grounding ourselves in Jesus. The book gives us a sacred template for our life and ministry. “The true key to being different, living different and leading different is Jesus,” Brown writes. I found this book to be an inspiring read that can enhance our journey to become more Jesus-centred.

Lt-Colonel Morris Vincent is the chief secretary of the Caribbean Territory.

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