When I first came across Leadership Mosaic by Daniel Montgomery with Jared Kennedy, I thought it might be a game-changing book on leadership. It attempts something I’ve never seen before:
The goal of Leadership Mosaic is to dive deeper into the doctrine of God in order to understand how the Trinity— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit— informs and transforms our life as leaders … I believe only the Trinity is big enough to address everything leadership involves.
A leadership book based on the Trinity? Sign me up! I love books that apply theology accurately and practically, and I’m ready for a book that doesn’t just rehash general leadership principles.
I was interested to see if the authors could pull it off. What, after all does the Trinity have to do with leadership?
A Different Model
The Trinity is a good model for leadership because leadership is so complex. We see different visions for leadership around us. All of them look promising, but none of them deliver all that we need. Within the church, five models of leadership are popular: the theologian, innovator, activist, manager, and soulful leader. All have something to offer, and all compete for our attention.
The solution, according to Leadership Mosaic, is to look to God. As Herman Bavinck writes:
The thoughtful person places the doctrine of the Trinity in the very center of the full-orbed life of nature and mankind… The mind of the Christian is not satisfied until every form of existence has been referred to the Triune God and until the confession of the Trinity has received the place of prominence in our thought and life.
“God— in all of his complexity— must be the operating system for our lives and our leadership,” the book argues. God is the model for leadership in a complex world.
A Fivefold Vision of Leadership
Leadership Mosaic presents a fivefold vision of leadership rooted in five Trinitarian doctrines:
- Conviction — Because God speaks, we must hear his voice and embody conviction.
- Creativity — Because God creates, we who are made in his image can imagine the way forward.
- Courage — Because God is on mission, we can join him by embracing uncertainty and risk.
- Collaboration — Because God exists in community, we can lead collaboratively.
- Contemplation — Because God lives in eternal rest and joy, we can rest and abide in him.
Holistic leaders can embody each aspect of this mosaic. “Christian leadership stands or falls with our ability to cling to and live out these beautiful truths,” the book argues.
I enjoyed the theology contained in each chapter. I also appreciate the way that the book unpacks and applies this theology, especially in the context of church life. Pastors will feel understood as they read this book.
A Better Way to Lead
“Leadership is knowing where people need to go and taking the initiative to get them there in God’s way and by God’s power.” We don’t just need the Trinity as a model for leadership; we need God’s presence and help.
“The world says we need strong, effective, and future-thinking leadership. God says we need him.” Because we enjoy God’s beauty, we can lead in beautiful ways. We have the privilege of living and leading as we’re caught up to a higher way of life as we participate in the life of the Trinity.
If you love applied theology, and if you care about leadership within the church, get this book. It will enrich your vision of God, and it will help you understand how the Trinity shapes our leadership. I’ll be reading it again.