The Life Giving Leader … A Review

Life Giving Leader

“Imagine if there were a generation of leaders who chose to trust that what God says is true. First they would believe that how He made them is good. Second, it would transform their lives, their work, and their leadership. Imagine a workforce filled with leaders who are pursuing improvements instead of working hard to be people they are not. Imagine a church filled with leaders who have embraced their God-given uniqueness and who are leaning into their gifts to line up with God’s plan for their lives.” pp. 74-75


This quote gave me hope that I was going to benefit from reading The Life-Giving Leader by Tyler Reagin. Reagin gives the reader very nice Tweetable phrases.

Reagin cites Matthew 20:25-26, “Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”  He writes, “It’s rare that I read the Scriptures and find a truth this clear” p. 148. I am befuddled by this statement. The Scripture has many very clear truths. Three that apply to leaders are:

  1. Joshua 1:7-8, God speaks to Joshua after Moses died before Joshua leads the Israelites into the Promised Land, “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
  2. Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
  3. Matthew 22:37-39, “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

In addition, Reagin seems to value RightPath’s Platinum Rule over the Golden Rule on page 151. He writes,

“As children, we are taught to follow the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as  you would want them to do unto you.’ It’s a good rule to live by. Even if we were to take this rule to heart and stop there, we’d make great progress as a culture.

“However, let me tell you about a valuable idea known as the Platinum Rule. RightPath refers to doing unto others as they would want done unto them. In other words, learn your people and serve the in the ways that would mean the most to them.”

RightPath’s article explaining the Platinum Rule is entitled, “Great Leaders Don’t Follow the Golden Rule – They Follow This One.” They don’t follow what Jesus instructs us to do?

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

Reagin states that “Jesus is the clearest and most complete picture of how leaders should lead” p. 179. Yet, I find Jesus missing from much of the book.

In addition, Reagin states, “There’s a reason the Dead Sea is called the Dead Sea. It lies below sea level and life can’t flourish there” p. 161. Being below the sea level is not the reason life can’t flourish in the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is below sea level, and life is flourishing there. The Sea of Galilee has an outlet, and water flows from it into the Jordan River. The Dead Sea has no outlet, and the minerals are concentrated in it.

With all books, the reader must be a Berean and check the author’s statements with what the Bible says and what the facts are.

On page 170, Reagin asks the readers to value team members’ gifts as keys to success. This would have been the perfect spot to include a discussion on Romans 12:4-8.

I was disappointed in its depth and lack of Biblical application.

For a serious study on Christian leadership, readers can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to lead them through the Bible and teach them what the Holy Spirit wants them to know.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the book launch program for my honest review. @WaterBrookPress #Partner

4 responses to “The Life Giving Leader … A Review”

  1. Shouting it doesn't make it true. Avatar

    There are leaders who lead by telling people the things they want to hear, who vilify, who blame others for the wrongs in the world. In that case I can think of several who’ve only brought pain and death. And then there are leaders who lead, not by telling, but by taking part, putting themselves at risk ‘like our pastor does’. A man came up to me today after church and said this was the first time in his life that he saw the pastor helping the ushers walk the isles to pass out the communion supper- he was touched and encouraged by his humility and authenticity. These are the types of leaders that make disciples, verses followers. It’s the quality of the follower that defines the leader, not the other way around.

    1. possesshispromises Avatar

      Noel, Thank you for these comments. I also like to see Pastor Henry serve with the ushers. God is at work in and through him. I’m not sure what you mean by “It’s the quality of the follower that defines the leader, not the other way around.” Do you mean that leaders attract committed followers? May the Lord bless and you and keep you in His love and one His path. Karen

      1. Shouting it doesn't make it true. Avatar

        Yes. Sorry I didn’t make that more clear. Leaders who divide people get one type of follower (usually the virulent, angry types) where as a real leader who leads for edification of all attracts like minded followers- as in ‘judging the tree by the fruit it produces’- a symbiotic relationship. How do we define a leader, how do know what kind of leader he truly is, look at his followers. (I agree the way I put it would lead to some confusion). The man I spoke of, serves in the church and it’s obvious to all that a pastor who serves others, will in turn produce like hearted followers- men and women after Gods own heart.

        1. possesshispromises Avatar

          Thank you for the clarification. Yes, he is serving as a role model of service. Jesus taught us to do that as well when He washed the disciples’ feet and served others time and time again. The Lord bless you! Karen

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