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Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus

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Table of Contents





Before Starting the Journey

Part I: Jesus: Son, Shepherd, and King

Chapter 1 A Submissive Son: Pleasing the Father

Chapter 2: A Long-Awaited Shepherd: Revealing the Father’s Heart

Chapter 3: An Unexpected King: Redefining Reality from the Father’s Perspective

Part II: Jesus Created a Kingdom-shaped Community and Culture

Chapter 4: What Was the Weather Like Around Jesus?

Chapter 5: Purposeful Proximity

Part III: Power and Authority in the Hands of Jesus

Chapter 6: Positive, Purposeful Power and Authority

Chapter 7: Protecting the Powerless, Provoking the Powerful

Chapter 8: Whoever Would Be Great

Chapter 9: Reflections on Power and Authority

Part IV: Emerging Leaders Under the Influence of Jesus

Chapter 10: Jesus: God’s Primary Instrument

Chapter 11: What Was Jesus Thinking?

Chapter 12: Jesus Retrains Our Reflexes

Chapter 13: Jesus Shares the Keys

Part V: Leading in the Image and Authority of Jesus

Chapter 14: The Transforming Posture

Chapter 15: Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus

Chapter 16: Exercising Our Power and Authority at the Feet of Jesus

Chapter 17: Shepherds After God’s Own Heart

Part VI: Leaders Journeying Together

Chapter 18: Senior Leaders Hold the Keys

Chapter 19: Sustainable Leadership Development: Leader to Leader to Leader

Chapter 20: Running a Marathon—Together

Continuing the Journey



Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus
Encounters with Grace and Truth
Todd Poulter

Redefining the Posture of Leadership

Despite our best intentions, many of us struggle to consistently reflect Jesus in our leadership. We look for answers in current Christian best-sellers, the latest business trends, or the newest leadership theories. But the gospels suggest a very different starting point: a new posture. No matter how lofty our title, status, or renown as leaders, we can never rise higher in the kingdom than to the feet of Jesus.

Building on Jesus’s intimacy with the Father, Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus highlights the rich relational setting in which Jesus exercised leadership and developed his followers into leaders. In the context of his intentional “with-ness,” Jesus generously shared his life and authority with the Twelve.

Poulter draws on a wide variety of cross-cultural experiences and invites leaders to a refreshing journey of discovery, intimacy, and transformation. With reflective questions designed to provoke insight and self-awareness, this book challenges readers to deepen their understanding and appreciation of Jesus, and evaluate their own beliefs, assumptions, and cultural expectations about leadership.

Visit Todd Poulter’s website here:


  • Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus has been Todd Poulter’s consistent desire and pursuit for the nearly two decades I have known him and worked with him. I am glad he has made what he has learned available through this book. Christians leaders around the world can do no better than to live out the attitudes and practices that exemplify leading at Jesus’ feet.

    Alex Araujo (Brazil/United States)Cross-Cultural Partnership Consultant First Executive Director of COMIBAM

  • I have been waiting expectantly to read this book and share it with others. Todd has been the most impactful person I have known on modeling and teaching Jesus’s leadership. He integrates character, knowledge, experience, and practical ways of applying learning. This book contains his reflections and experiences as a leader and teacher for many years in missional contexts around the world. Todd carefully expresses what today's leaders from all cultures and generations need to build a life and ministry on the best possible platform—at the feet of Jesus. Our world is crying out for such leaders.

    Pastor David Cardenas, DMin (Colombia)Americas Area Director, Wycliffe Global Alliance Former President, COMIBAM International

  • Todd has been my leadership mentor for many years. He took the time to get to know me, asked me good questions, listened to my stories, and created a safe space for me to share openly about how much pain I was carrying. He did not give me a lecture on leadership or direct advice about how I could solve my problems. He simply talked about Jesus’ example, prayed with me, and waited silently before the Lord with me. After that, I knew something inside me had changed and that I had learned something very important. That conversation with Todd would be the first of many that would help shape the way I serve the people I lead and work with.
    This book captures Todd’s experience in working with leaders from many cultures, the values he has lived by, and the spiritual insights he has gained from his meditations on the life of Jesus as a leader. It is an essential guide for leaders who want to grow personally and have a godly, transforming influence on the people they serve in a variety of contexts.

    Bambi Cataluna (Philippines)Mission Consultant and Trainer; Developer of the Youth Kairos Course

  • Todd Poulter brings us a book that I wish I had read decades ago as a young emerging leader. I’ve known Todd for almost two decades, as a co-worker and special friend, and I cannot think of anyone more qualified to gift us with such a precious treasure. This is a book written by someone with a vast and deep experience in multicultural ministries and leadership, with a unique ability to discern the greatest needs in Christian leadership today. Todd has led, trained, coached, and personally interacted with senior and emerging leaders from all parts of the world for over four decades. Throughout his life, he has been a leader who actively listens, reflects, and deeply treasures the lessons of a lifetime of ministry. And now, for our benefit and for generations to come, Todd shares his heart with us. After you read this book, you will understand what is at the heart of true and transformative Christian leadership.

    Roberto Laver(Argentina/United States)Founder/Director, FIDES (Anti-Corruption NGO)

  • I heard Todd's teachings on biblical leadership at a recent international conference. Since then, God gave me the privilege, along with other leaders, to learn from him about the leadership of Jesus. Todd's teachings gathered throughout his years of service and interaction with leaders of all ages and nationalities, along with the biblical and counter-cultural perspective contained in Learning to Lead at the Feet of Jesus, have revolutionized my life and profoundly transformed the way I lead. This is not just another book about how to be a successful leader; it is a journey into the heart of God and into his eternal principles to lead others.

    Deinis Mall (Panama)Sending Team Director, Panamanians Reaching the World

  • I was fortunate to have been discipled by leaders who sat at the feet of Jesus. Leaders who not only taught me the whole counsel of God but imparted their own lives as well. And when the time was right, they freely stepped off the stage, so that those they had trained could step into the limelight. It’s a wonderful thing when leaders believe and inspire you long before you believe in yourself. I have known Todd for forty years, as he and Karla served as Wycliffe missionaries on behalf of our church. Like the generation of leaders before us, he exemplifies everything he has written in this book. I have never met a man more unassuming, welcoming, and human than Todd. Todd reminds me of Eugene Peterson in message and presence. Though he is a first-rate scholar, you’d never know it: when you first meet him, his humility and gentleness disarm you, making you utterly attentive to anything he has to say. Such leaders do not seek to impress, intimidate, or coerce. They ask questions and listen, gently uncovering the hidden motives and longings beneath our words. It is rare to find Jesus’s model of leadership in our world today, but it has been captured and lived by the author of this book.

    Brian Morgan (United States)Pastor, Peninsula Bible Church Cupertino

  • We were thrilled when we learned that Todd Poulter was writing this book. We have learned a lot from Todd as we have discussed biblical leadership. Insights from those discussions have made their way into our leadership practice and leadership training. This book, engaging deeply with the life and teachings of Jesus, will enable leaders to further integrate their faith with their leadership. A leader must never stop sitting at the feet of Jesus, gaining insights, and putting them into practice. This book will enrich leaders from any background in that quest.

    Richard and Marilyn Schlitt (Canada)Director, OMF Canada, and Leadership Development Trainer

Additional Details

  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: William Carey Publishing
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publish Year: 2022
  • ISBN: 9781645084143
  • Vendor: William Carey Publishing