Summoned is a sobering word. Who issued it? Why me? What do I have to offer? Allen cites Acts 18:9-10 as an example of Paul being summoned by God. Anyone who feels the possibility of God’s call to leadership should read Summoned: Stepping Up to Live and Lead with Jesus. The author is a PK (preacher’s kid) and brings an inside perspective on ministry leadership. The book is anecdotal, but I found myself repeatedly mumbling, “I can relate!” Allen discusses the distinction between occupation and vocation. This would be an ideal resource for developing leaders in your ministry. Some of the terms and concepts used in the book seem to draw on the classic work of Dr. Robert Clinton (Making of a Leader). The book is divided into four parts that include summons (helps the reader discover and confirm the call to leadership), shaped (cultivates the integrity of the leader), sent (take action and serve), and supported (connecting with others). The shaped section was the highlight of the book for me. Chapter 9 in that section was particularly challenging (Lost in Translation) where the author addresses the in-between times of leadership. How do you respond when you are called to wait, living in the already-but-not-yet? Chapter 3 argues that that all work matters (e.g., Jesus was a carpenter). I personally was challenged by the exercise in chapter 15 (mentors) to list the names of the most significant mentors in my life and what they taught me. Allen is fearless in addressing sticky leadership issues such as pornography, working under authority (difficult boss), demonic confrontation and women in leadership.

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