Check Out This New Book

I don’t know much of anyone I’d rather listen to or talk with about leadership than Steve Moore. As you may know, ABHE partnered with Steve to help incubate the nexleader experience and the amazing Identity Profile Self-Awareness Tool (IPSAT). I hope you, your colleagues and your students are taking full advantage of these incredible emerging leader development resource platforms.

The Top Ten Leadership Conversations in the BibleMeanwhile, Steve has continued to build. He’s preparing to release a new book on October 1st: The Top Ten Leadership Conversations in the Bible. I am so eager for you to know about and benefit from this project, I’m devoting my next three 4ThoughtLeader blog posts to conversation with Steve about his insights. Let’s jump in …



Ralph: I know you have a new book coming out October 1, 2017, but there is really a lot more than a book involved in this project. What is your vision for, and what was the trigger for this ambitious project?

Steve: The initial trigger for this project was the influence of Dr. J. Robert Clinton at Fuller Seminary. I studied Leadership Emergence Theory with Bobby and he has been a powerful mentor over the years. Bobby helped me understand it is possible to know a lot about leadership and a lot about the Bible without being a Bible centered leader.

That’s because most of us were instructed how to engage the Bible devotionally, and theologically, or how to use it as the source for a speaking ministry. And without question, that’s essential. But few leaders are taught how to engage the Bible as a leadership resource.

As a result, we tend to study the Bible, and then separately study leadership. I believe these two learning opportunities can naturally overlap. I’m not suggesting we should stop reading other books on leadership. I am suggesting we should start reading the Bible with leadership eyes.

The good news is that’s not hard to do, because the Bible is full of leadership interactions. As part of my research for this book, I went through the Bible chapter by chapter to identify all the leadership conversations, noting the three core elements of every leadership interaction: the leader, the followers, and the situation. I counted 1,090 leadership conversations.

I then used a force-ranking exercise to identify what I believe are the ten most important leadership conversations in the Bible. In The Top 10 Leadership Conversations in the Bible, I’ve documented my top ten list, along with some practical insights and timeless principles. I’m building a website at so we can make both the book and a searchable database of my research available for free.

Ralph: The questions most leaders will have as they learn more about your book, The Top 10 Leadership Conversations in the Bible, is how did you determine what constitutes a leadership conversation and how did you go about force-ranking the list?

Steve: I shared in more detail about all this in a free webinar, Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Several ABHE leaders—including you, Ralph—were logged in on that occasion. The good news is that those who missed the webinar can still access the replay and the project’s free resources by clicking on the “Keep Me Informed” button at

Meanwhile, here’s the short answer. I used the following six criteria to identify a leadership conversation:

    1. Conversations between God, or an angelic creature, and people, would not be counted.
    2. At least one of the people speaking had to be identified as a leader.
    3. The specific words of at least one of the parties had to be identified by quotation marks in the English text.
    4. If the leader and follower had some other relational connection, the conversation had to have a purpose beyond the relationship.
    5. The interaction did not have to be face-to-face, but rather could be by messenger or letter, if the message was identified in quotes in the text, and the conversation had a purpose beyond the relationship.
    6. In conversations between two leaders of equal standing, the person exerting influence would be identified as the leader.

To force rank the 1,090 leadership conversations, I used the following four filters:

      1. Scope and impact: What was the scope of this leadership conversation and how significant was the impact?
      2. Counterfactual questions: What if this leadership conversation hadn’t happened, or if the opposite had happened?
      3. Law of emphasis: To what extent is this leadership conversation emphasized in the text, based on the number of verses devoted to it in the primary passage and references in other passages?
      4. Redemption story: To what extent did this leadership conversation directly contribute to the grand narrative of redemption?

My goal with this project is not convincing readers to agree with my criteria for identifying a leadership conversation or the force ranking filters I used to identify my top ten. The larger objective is to stimulate in others a passion to engage the Bible as a primary source for leadership learning.

Sign Up To Learn More

Well, are you hooked yet? In my next post I’ll ask Steve for his top 10 list. In the meantime, I urge you to sign up at to access the book, study resources, and receive future updates. I already have.


Fresh gleanings to fuel your leadership awareness, reflection, and conversations …


Enrollment growth just got harder

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you and your enrollment management team need to prepare for a challenging demographic downturn. If you’re going to grow your enrollment, you are going to have to gain market share primarily among non-traditional age students. To think otherwise is totally out of touch with reality.


The First Rule of Missions

Steve Saint is not afraid to confront “conventional” thinking about missions. And the son of missionary martyr, Nate Saint, does it again in this thought-provoking essay. He has walked the talk—even through a valley of extraordinary suffering in recent years. He’s earned the right to be listened to. I hope you’ll do that.