Book Review – “The Nehemiah Factor: 16 Characteristics of a Missional Leader” by Frank Page


The Nehemiah Factor: 16 Characteristics of a Missional Leader

Frank Page is Pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, SC and was President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 2006 – 2008. As a proven leader, he offers a study in leadership in his book, The Nehemiah Factor: 16 Characteristics of a Missional Leader. The book is published by New Hope Publishers.

Using the biblical character, Nehemiah, as a model, Page identifies qualities which a leader should possess and develop.  It is intended for leaders who are “missional.”  He defines this term:

Missional is the buzzword in evangelical circles today…It is a way of looking at Christianity that integrates concern for both evangelism and social ministries.  It is a kind of acting out of the faith in daily life.  The word encompasses much of what Christians have simply thought of in the past as living out the Christ life.

–From Chapter 1, p. 19

Each chapter presents one characteristic from the life of Nehemiah and his project of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem in difficult times.  Each chapter title begins, A Missional Leader with the following traits.

  1. Is a Person of Godly Character
  2. Is a Person of Calling
  3. Is a Person of Vision
  4. Is a Person of Christlike Concern
  5. Is a Person of Spiritual Fruitfulness
  6. Is a Person Who is a Team Worker
  7. Is a Person of Prayer
  8. Is a Person of Integrity
  9. Is a Person of Comprehension
  10. Is an Excellent Conflict Manager
  11. Is a Person of Courage
  12. Is a Person of Commitment
  13. Is a Person of Communication
  14. Is a Great Time Manager
  15. Is Willing to Provide Accountability
  16. Is a Person Who Celebrates Victory

The book is profitable to readers who desire to have more Christian influence in their worlds.  Each reader should evaluate the strength of each characteristic in his or her life.  Weaknesses should be targeted for improvement.  The result will be leading others as Nehemiah did in accomplishing great things for God’s kingdom.

The book is written in a folksy manner with plenty of anecdotes.  This method means that this book is a starting point for leadership studies.  One will have to read elsewhere to dig deeper.

A major deficiency in the book is Page’s critical comments about reformed theology or Calvinism.  The first chapter is titled, “A Missional Leader Is a Person of Godly Character.”  However much of the chapter was spent attacking Calvinism.  I still am not sure why this was relevant to the chapter title.  It seems that Page forgot that this was not one of his previous books, Trouble with the TULIP.

To readers of this blog, it is worth noting his discussion of Psalm 51 in chapter 8.

This prayer of restoration (Ps 51) reveals David had a heart like His (God’s).

— Page 135

Page reminds us that although integrity can be lost, David is an example of one who regained his integrity.