Sam Rockwell, Ph.D., supervisor of Foursquare’s Gateway District, released Leading by Being and Doing: Integrating Person and Practice in Ministry last fall. Legendary Foursquare Pastor Jerry Cook wrote the foreword.
From the onset, the book primes the pump with expectation. “Integrating being and doing brings life into focus,” the author writes. “Their pursuit is demanded, and their understanding is essential to our Christian life, and especially for the Christian leader.”
The forward and introduction set me up to be ready to dig deep into, not just simply read, the book. Sam draws from both the personal and practical experiences in his own life to create the book’s solid foundation.
As the title indicates, the author addresses two distinct purposes: helping readers learn how to lead both by being and doing. Ministry can be all consuming, and getting lost in the process can easily happen.
“To be intellectual, as I am defining it, is not about being smart, academically inclined or ‘bookish,’ ” Sam states. “It is about being humble and reflective.”
All 12 chapters include the author’s experiences, biblical stories and an opportunity to personally reflect. Throughout the volume, Sam is open and vulnerable, making what he shares relatable, and his experiences are not so far out there from anyone else’s life. He writes and communicates with clarity of wisdom and understanding.
Sam’s knowledge, which comes with a wealth of learning and personal growth, helped me identify some personal red flags in my own life. I appreciate that personal application is at the core of this book. The author isn’t asking readers to be just like him, but rather to discover who they are personally and how that intertwines with ministry.
This book is a great read for young leaders who are in the beginning stages of leading, as well as seasoned leaders and pastors who may need a tool to begin looking inward so there can be more effective leading outward.
Reviewed by: Suzie Genin, student pastor at Chapel Valley Community (Madison Foursquare Church) in Madison, Wis.