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Author Tod Bolsinger reflects on his experience of taking a blacksmithing class as a metaphor for discussing the necessary characteristics for leadership in a post-Christian, post-truth context.

For Christian leaders and churches who experienced loss after loss from the COVID-19 pandemic, Bolsinger’s book could not have come at a better time. It fosters and forges resilience. Bolsinger’s wisdom is infused with the leadership expertise of the late leadership savants Edwin Friedman, Ronald Heifetz, Marty Linksky, and Martin Luther King, making him a great coach and guide for these times.

Bolsinger lays out the terrain many leaders found themselves in when in-person worship was disrupted: anxious members were thrown from familiar spaces of church into Zoom worship, and an enemy virus created uncertainty and fear. He then provides calm, wise guidance. I appreciate Bolsinger’s love for the church and for pastors who fought and are fighting a battle against fear and division.

Bolsinger does not offer quick fixes and simple solutions. He presents the notion that better leaders are forged through the losses of certainty and control, but only when suffering isn’t avoided. The best leaders take themselves and their people through the challenges knowing both become stronger on the other end. (IVP)

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