Reviewing Eddie Hammett’s Soulful Leadership

About 18 months ago, I cleared a section of my home-office bookshelf for the writings of Edward H. Hammett. I had just heard Eddie speak at a gathering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Virginia, and was impressed by his style and content of his sermon. After the gathering, I immediately went and purchased several of his books from

These included

Most recently, I also purchased the following book (which I would like to review in this blog):

First, let me share a bit of information about Eddie. Eddie is a professionally certified coach through International Coaching Federation. He is a popular preacher, conference leader, and (obviously) author. He is also a partner with The Columbia Partnership (, one of my frequent stops for finding leadership resources for today’s changing ministerial context.

Making Shifts Without Making Waves: A Coach Approach to Soulful Leadership (TCP Leadership Series) is co-authored by Eddie along with James Pierce and Steve Devane.

The book aims to help leaders (especially those in congregational settings) to navigate the culture shifts taking place in society due to the fast pace of change. That these shifts are taking place is an undeniable reality, as evidenced in the rapid flux in the political landscape, the sometimes overwhelming magnitude of technological advancements (especially in the communication industries), changes it community and cultural mores economic instability, environmental destruction, the rise and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, just to name a few of the most obvious.

Yet while the rapid pace of change is the fodder for many books, few venture forth to help leaders know how to guide people through these shifting sands. Making Shifts Without Making Waves: A Coach Approach to Soulful Leadership (TCP Leadership Series) aims to be an exception. Hammet and his cohorts set out to help congregations transform their mission and ministry for this new cultural landscape, rather than simply holding on to outdated modes, or worse, adopting and reflecting the culture we are called to transform with the message of Jesus Christ and his teachings about the Kingdom of God.

The thesis of the book is that leaders must learn how to coach people and organizations through times of great change and transition, what they refer to as a “soulful” approach to leadership. This is a far cry from the old ways of top-heavy leadership dictating methods aimed at creating a better “attractional” churches.

The coaching model assumes that the wisdom, resources, and knowledge needed to bring about meaningful change is already present in the coachee and the organization. What’s needed are leaders who can call forth those resources and guide the person forward.

I can testify to the success of this approach in my own life. Over the past 18 months I have had my own personal ministry coach. As my own congregation has been on a journey towards missional faithfulness, my coach (Bill Moore) has guided me to discover my own spiritual/leadership resources, while guiding the leaders in my congregation to find their way through the maze of societal change.

After reading Making Shifts Without Making Waves: A Coach Approach to Soulful Leadership (TCP Leadership Series) I feel like I am better equipped to provide soulful coaching to my own congregational leaders. The greatest strength of this book, for me, were the coaching models and resources it provided me.

This book comes with my highest recommendation for leaders. It is easy to read, very practical, and will find immediate application to the ministerial setting. Eddie tells me via facebook that he is currently preparing a workbook for this resource. I can hardly wait to get my hands on it when it is published.

One Response to “Reviewing Eddie Hammett’s Soulful Leadership”

  1. Thanks Bill for your review and affirming words. We are delighted that you found practical help and resource for the journey of transitioning and changing in congregational life. Blessings on you..Thanks for sharing my resources with your blog readers!
    The resource guide for congregations is almost ready. I’ve been field testing it and folks have responded very positively! Thanks again!

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