9781426798337My grandmother always told me to use my brain for something “other than holding your ears apart.” It’s been a long time since I’ve heard that but it’s always stuck with me so It’s no surprise that a volume like Brain-Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry comes across my desk my interest is piqued. Since I have had previous experience with Anatomy and Physiology I thought this would be a perfect fit for what I know and the leader I’m trying to be. That assumption proved to be correct.

Before you rush out to get this book, be forewarned. This book is not for everyone. It’s heavy on the stats and well-developed research but that doesn’t mean it’s a hard book to understand. I know many of my friends would fall over nearly dead if I placed a stat-driven volume in their laps and others would eat it up. If you are the latter then this volume should find a welcome place in your literary arsenal.

This section is broken down into four sections. The first addresses the link between studying the brain and the Bible together. These two are not antithetical together yet many place them at odds with each other. Here the author presents an almost Kuyperian view that, “there is not a square inch in all of creation that God does not stand over and rightly claim mine!”

Section Two breaks down the brain for us and gets us beyond the sulcus. A basic lesson on what the brain is and how it works fills the rest of the section. I was particularly interested in this section because the science behind how the brain works is exciting to me. Not only do we have a creator who made our brains but made them extremely complex as to leave us without hesitation to claim an intelligent design.  If the author hasn’t lost you by now then the next section is extremely important to take notes on.

Section Three is filled brings all that science home and shows the reader how the information just digested can begin to form behaviors and actions leading to productivity. Things like attention and focus are arranged for the reader in an easily discernible template. The author is careful not to get lost in technical language but instead makes sure to bring the reader along an easy path to follow, especially if the reader has been sleep deprived and is quickly losing focus.

The final section brings the volume to a close with an overall summary of the content. Here we have a checklist version of the Leadership Competencies discussed in Section Three. The information displayed in this way was helpful to me as I was able to place co-workers and friends neatly into the their separate categories.

This volume helped me to understand the way I communicate and handle myself but it allowed me to do a bit more than that. It allowed me to change the way I think about my leadership role. I wish there would have been a bit more practical application for those in ministry positions. For me, this volume felt much like any other secular volume on leadership with the mention of Christ and the Bible interspersed. That being said, I enjoyed much of what was presented here.

Stone, C. (2015). Brain-Savvy Leaders: The Science of Significant Ministry (p. 232). Nashville, Tennessee: Abingdon Press.


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