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January 1972    Vol. 1 No. 1    pp. 37–38 

Book Review

Leadership for Church Education

Kenneth O. Gangel. Chicago, IL: Moody, 1970. 390 pages.

Reviewed by Loyal J. Martin

Kenneth Gangel deals thoroughly with the “why” and “how” of leading the local church today. He assumes a fairly traditional structure of the church but lists principles—biblical, social, and psychological—that work in leading people under any setting. He explains the roles of leaders and gives pointers for leaders in decision making, counselling, and training. Chapters ranging from the work of the director of Christian education (DCE) in a large church to Christian education in the small church give ideas that make sense for a wide range of Christian education activities.

By studying the lives of Moses, Joshua, and Paul, as well as many related scriptures, Gangel defines the distinctives of Christian leadership. These include ability, purpose, faith, obedience, being called, being prepared, tenacity of mind, conviction of belief, breadth of vision. Gangel says the authority for church leadership is Bible centered, its context is church centered, its responsibility is Christ centered, its orientation is people centered, and its dynamic is Spirit centered.

A self-checking chart for evaluating the leader’s role in decision making is a valuable part in the appendix (pp 234-235). {38}

The author is chairman of the Christian Education Department, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois. His book will have value as a reference book for college and seminary classes in Christian education and the Christian worker’s library. Gangel is thoroughly evangelical and Bible-based in his insights yet he draws together the work of many authorities in psychology and group dynamics.

The book is generally helpful but the vocabulary is occasionally heavy and the concepts technical. Several major slips escaped the proof readers. The author or his editors could have weeded out some outlines that were obviously workshop notes unrefined for publication. The bibliography at the end of each chapter would have been more helpful if collected as an appendix and annotated.

Loyal J. Martin, Executive Secretary
Evangelism and Christian Education, Fresno

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