The Self-Aware Leader: Discovering Your Blind Spots to Reach Your Ministry Potential, By Terry Linhart
The Self-Aware Leader
  • Length: 184 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: March 14, 2017
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4480
  • ISBN: 9780830844807

*affiliate partner

Parish Clergy - Top Ten Books

Effective ministry begins here.

You've studied what you think you need to know before entering a career in ministry. Is there anything that is more important than knowing about hermeneutics, homiletics, theology, exegesis, and everything else you have likely learned in seminary and church ministry so far?

Yes, there is. How well do you know yourself?

You need to build your ministry career on the right foundation of an objective understanding of self. If you don't comprehend your strengths and weaknesses, then you won't be fully prepared to enter the crucible of ministry. Serving as a pastor is one of the toughest calls there is. But it can also be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding, especially if you have taken the time to examine both your gifts and vulnerabilities.

The church needs leaders who have the clear-eyed courage to pursue the hardest part of the ministry journey: seeing yourself. The Self-Aware Leader will help you to do just that.

"A few ministry leadership tours of duty convinced me that too many otherwise gifted people hit ineffectiveness walls because they were unable (or unwilling) to carefully consider the cracks in their foundations. As Terry Linhart points out, we've all got them. But when we're deluded into thinking that it's more important to give others what we think they want than to give them what we know we can offer, the temptation to 'act the part' gains a foothold in our hearts. This book is written by a friend who has become comfortable in his own skin and wonderfully fruitful as a leader, in part because he is fully committed to staying on the same journey he so carefully describes as necessary for the authentic, self-aware leader."

Dave Rahn, senior ministry advisor, Youth for Christ USA

"When I went into full-time ministry at twenty years old, I wish I'd had this book at my disposal. The Self-Aware Leader is an incredible tool for both individuals and teams, but it's especially helpful for young leaders learning to navigate ministry, leadership, and their own limitations for the first time. In this book, Terry helps leaders have the tough conversations necessary for growing in both self-awareness and Christlikeness."

Elle Campbell, author, speaker, cofounder of Stuff You Can Use

"Fresh and relevant! This book brilliantly offers great insights and will challenge you to take a deeper look at how ministry has been done in the past. It is a game-changer for Christian youth workers desperately trying to stay in step with our rapidly shifting culture, providing real-life strategies for success! Bravo!"

Joan McClendon, project director, Women's Entrepreneurship Initiative, Saint Mary's College, adjunct instructor, Bethel College

"I've been waiting for Terry to write this book ever since I first heard him talk about it. It's overdue! It's a must-read for every leader. I will highly recommend it to anyone who desires to be a healthy leader."

Doug Fields, veteran youth pastor, bestselling author, cofounder,

"In a society where people remain silent from having the conversations needed for healthy settings, ministries have relaxed and adopted the normalcy of allowing gaps among leaders. The young adult leader occupies the past and the present but is unable to lead well without addressing the day-to-day issues. My friend Terry provides practical exercises that will help organizations learn how to gather together, address issues, and adopt best practices to keep the lines of communication open and ongoing."

Fred Oduyoye, director of networking, Youth Specialties

"Terry Linhart has given a gift to those of us who care about developing faithful leadership for the decades ahead. The Self-Aware Leader provides wonderful content and profound questions for reflection that can help leaders do the important inner work that is absolutely vital for long-term effectiveness in ministry. This is a wonderful resource, both for leaders and their mentors!"

Ken Knipp, VP of training, Young Life

"For years, Terry has helped equip young leaders like myself to serve the church well as pastors, ministry directors, missionaries, and more. The idea of learning to see in community what you cannot see on your own has been a constant thread in his work. The church is better because of leaders like Terry. In this project, The Self-Aware Leader, Terry stays true to form and offers piercing yet practical insight for rookie and seasoned leaders alike. While many leadership books can devolve into the realm of self-help, this work challenges us to overcome our blind spots by engaging in the critical, Spirit-led process of self-examination and communal reflection that moves a leader toward a place of confession, forgiveness, and growth. If you can only read one book on leadership this year, you should make it The Self-Aware Leader!"

Edrin C. Williams, The Sanctuary Covenant Church

"Grounded in years of experience in leadership development and a passion for seeing leaders flourish, Linhart brings much-needed attention to common blind spots that often hinder young leaders and provides biblical practices to address them. A must-read practical guide for leadership teams or anyone hoping to grow their effectiveness in leadership!"

Tom Lin, president/CEO of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

"Terry Linhart has delivered a winning exploration of what you need to know about your past, present, and future leadership journey. Those you lead will thank you for reading this book."

Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute, coauthor of Growing Young

"Terry takes us on a deep dive into the inner life of a leader, which truly guides all of life and leadership. He is gentle and gracious, yet direct and relentless, to go after the critical areas of a leader's life. If you allow it, this book will be a deep dive into your soul and character that will utterly transform your whole life."

April L. Diaz, author and speaker, Slingshot Group associate, director of coaching, The Youth Cartel

"This book is designed to equip young Christians to grow in their capabilities, devotion, and development, and to maximize the vapor that God has given to each of us for his glory!"

John H. Sather, national director, Cru Inner City

"Linhart compassionately but unapologetically helps leaders identify blind spots that pose potential danger. The book's core unmasks seven common blind spots for leaders and, using Scripture and personal stories, describes the necessary adjustments every serious leader must consider. Each chapter includes self-checks and concludes with discussion questions. Linhart has led Christian ministry over 25 years, including eight years with Youth for Christ and seven years as a youth pastor. He is currently a professor at Bethel College in Indiana. He has written a must-read for every leader."

David Mundt, Christian Market, March 2017


Foreword by Carey Nieuwhof
1. Seeing the Race Before Us
2. Seeing Your Self
3. Seeing Your Past
4. Seeing Your Temptations
5. Seeing Your Emotions
6. Seeing Your Pressures
7. Seeing Your Conflicts
8. Seeing Your Margins

Conclusion: Seeing the End Goal


You May Also Like

Terry Linhart

Terry Linhart (PhD, Purdue University) is an author, speaker, consultant, and professor of Christian ministries at Bethel College in South Bend, Indiana. He is founder and leader of the Arbor Research Group and hosts the leadership podcast 37thePodcast. His books include Evangelism Remixed, Teaching the Next Generations, What Can We Do? and Global Youth Ministry. For over twenty-five years, Terry has led and taught about topics related to Christian ministry and organizational oversight. His youth ministry experience includes eight years in parachurch ministry with Youth for Christ and seven years as youth pastor at Hope Missionary Church in Bluffton, Indiana. He has taught at Asbury Theological Seminary, North Park University, Huntington College, Taylor University, and Alliance Graduate School in Quezon City, Philippines. He and his wife, Kelly, live near South Bend, Indiana, and they have three grown children.