Book Review: C. H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership, by Steve Miller
Synopsis: Few preachers in the history of the Church have had as profound and lasting an impact as Charles Haddon Spurgeon, whose ministry in the Metropolitan Tabernacle was characterized by an amazing output in a vast array of ministries, and a worldwide influence for the cause of Christ. For this reason, perhaps, few lives have been as frequently recorded in biographies and as often used for exemplary inspiration as his. In Miller's book, which is not quite a biography and not quite a collection of themed quotations, but displays a little of both, the reader is introduced in a very manageable way, not just to Spurgeon, but to the very heart of the great preacher, and to his thoroughly Christ-centered and Spirit-dependent philosophy of ministry, largely in his own words. For anyone aspiring to the sacred call of the ministry, or for that matter, any believer at all whose heart-cry is simply not to waste his life, this book will be instructive and inspiring reading, everywhere suffused with the godly wisdom that came from a heart that rested always on Jesus alone, and strove always for the greater display of his matchless glory.
Spurgeon's legacy is treasured among Christians all around the world today, and many believers would love to learn from the humble greatness of the beloved preacher; but even knowing where to start can be a very daunting thing, given the sheer volume both of the writings that he himself produced, and of those that have been produced about him. If one would like to read about his life, the variety of available biographies, some of them quite massive, is prodigious; and if one would prefer to experience the writings of the man himself, his books and sermons that are still in print would fill a small library. This is why Miller's book is so helpful. It gives a little biographical information and a small sampling of Spurgeon's own writings, on some particular and especially important themes. Reading C. H. Spurgeon on Spiritual Leadership is something like ordering the sampler platter at a world famous restaurant, to get a little feel for everything, before delving in deeper to a dish that particularly pleases your palate.
This particular sampling of some proffered reasons for Spurgeon's phenomenal usefulness in the Master's service and bits of advice and wisdom from the preacher's own pen is exceptionally valuable because it strikes at the very heart of what motivated Spurgeon, and what to him was of supreme importance; which is nothing but Christ and him crucified. Anyone striving for a life well-lived in spiritual service will find a treasure trove of wisdom and encouragement in these pages. Miller's own thoughts and analyses are insightful and to the point, and his selection of quotations is highly judicious.
Miller guides the Christian who is aspiring to grow in spiritual leadership through several foundational truths taught and exemplified by Spurgeon, including a passion for prayer, a faith that endures, a commitment to holiness, a heart for service, a love for the Lord and his word, a willingness to suffer, a zeal for proclaiming God's word, and a passion for lost souls. In each of these realms, Miller provides the biographical information that holds Spurgeon forth as an example, and a well-selected sampling of quotations from Spurgeon's books, prayers, and sermons that give his own advice in his own words. Then, in a few words of heartfelt admonition, he closes the book with an appeal to believers to live with a singular passion for the glory of God in Christ Jesus, even as Spurgeon lived and taught.
Very manageable in size, challenging in content, of core importance in subject matter, diverse and well-balanced in material, this little book will not fail to be a helpful introduction to Spurgeon, the man and his ministry; but more importantly, it will be a clarion call to the importance of living all of life in the pursuit of Christ, and to the glory of God the Father through him.
Available at Monergism Books.