Book Review: Take The Lid Off Your Church

Full disclosure: Tony Morgan sent me a free copy of this ebook to read and review. However, he also gave me complete freedom to write what I really thought about the book without getting his approval. So I got that going for me…

The beauty of “Take The Lid Off” is its simplicity. How many leadership books have I read and thought – that was the best advice that I’ll never be able to use. So many times the scale of context is just to vast. Not with this book. No matter the context – big or small, rich or poor – these common-sense (not so common?) principles will help any leadership team. It can be applied for those that are full-time or part-time, paid or volunteer. I like that Tony started with principles instead of stories of huge success or failures.

This book will not clarify your vision or stretch your leaders in their walk with Jesus. It will force your senior leadership to look critically at the “leadership culture” that is present in your church. So many times it is not the theology of a church that is unhealthy. It’s the culture of leadership. That’s where this book really helps.

Some nuggets from Tony:
Who is on your senior leadership team will shape every other decision.
When it’s a team rather than an individual, it leads to a healthier organization.
The senior leadership team needs to model what “healthy” team-based ministry looks like.

What I found most helpful in the book were Tony’s 7 questions to identify who should be on the senior leadership team. In fact, in our search for our new hire and in our upcoming Church Council application, I’m going to immediately start asking these questions.

Do they have leadership gifts?
Are they big-picture thinkers?
Are they strategic thinkers?
Can they build teams?
Do they share the vision and values of your organization?
Do they help us reflect the diversity of our ministry?
Are they lifelong learners?

This will be a must read for us.

It’s short. It’s cheap. It’s a quick read. And you can find it either on Amazon or at


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