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The Leader's Journey, 2nd Edition

Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation

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This book helps pastors and church leaders understand the role their personal transformation as Jesus's disciples plays in effective congregational leadership. It shifts the focus of leadership from techniques and charisma to spiritual transformation and developing emotional maturity so leaders can effectively lead congregations to embrace change. End-of-chapter discussion questions are included. The first edition sold more than 20,000 copies and has been regularly used as a textbook over the past fifteen years. The second edition has been revised throughout and includes a greater emphasis on Bowen Family Systems Theory.


Part 1: The Call to Personal Transformation
1. The Need for Personal Transformation
2. Following Jesus on the Leadership Journey
Part 2: Leading Living Systems
3. Understanding the System
4. Thinking Systems, Watching Process
5. Becoming a Calm Leader
6. Leading in Uncertain Times
Part 3: Family Patterns
7. Going Home Again
8. The Nuclear Family
Part 4: The Spirit and the Journey
9. The Spiritual Life and the Path to Transformation
10. Learning to Learn Again
11. Thinking Systems as a Christian
Appendix A: Constructing a Family Diagram
Appendix B: Developing a Rhythm of Spiritual Practices
Appendix C: Bowen-Based Training Programs
Appendix D: Recommended Reading
Appendix E: Glossary


"My first edition of this book is well worn and frequently recommended and assigned. I didn't think it could get better, but with the new updates and revisions The Leader's Journey will prove even more transformational for pastors and leaders of all kinds. The change you want to see out there begins with you, and this is a perfect place to start."

Chuck DeGroat, professor of pastoral care and Christian spirituality, Western Theological Seminary

"Not every book demands a second edition--The Leader's Journey does. This new edition demonstrates that a 'living system' challenges everyone to continue to learn, observe, manage, and act. Herrington, Taylor, and Creech expand on the importance of engagement that encourages calm and clarity in leadership. The book addresses the crucial aspects of relationships in family settings and faith communities and stresses the importance of spiritual disciplines and a relationship with God as 'the center of gravity that keeps our lives in balance.' This is not an item for your bookshelf but a living, breathing companion for everyday use."

Emlyn A. Ott, executive director, Healthy Congregations, Inc.; director of doctor of ministry programs and associate professor of pastoral theology and leadership, Bexley Seabury Seminary, Chicago

"In this lucid and well-written book, three of the most respected church leaders of our generation place in our hands a guide to Christian transformation. Walking with Christ is an ongoing journey, necessitating the courage of our convictions and the courage to challenge those convictions. The Leader's Journey advocates for personal and congregational change with a clear vision for the expansion and fulfillment of God's promises."

Caleb O. Oladipo, Snellings Chair of Christian Evangelism and Missions, Campbell University Divinity School; senior fellow of Baptist Scholars International Roundtable

The Authors

  1. Jim Herrington

    Jim Herrington

    Jim Herrington (DMin, Houston Graduate School of Theology) is co-owner of The Leader's Journey, which offers coaching and consultation services to help leaders and organizations maximize their impact, and has served as a pastor to pastors in the greater...

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  2. Trisha Taylor

    Trisha Taylor

    Trisha Taylor (MA, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor in private practice in Houston. She serves as a church consultant and has over twenty-five years of ministry experience. Taylor is a co-consultant for...

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  3. R. Robert Creech
    Rachel Halloran

    R. Robert Creech

    R. Robert Creech (PhD, Baylor University) is Hubert H. and Gladys S. Raborn Professor of Pastoral Leadership and director of pastoral ministries at George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, in Waco, Texas. He formerly taught...

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