corporate or political?

September 16, 2004

I’ve been thinking for several months about what leadership in a church should look like, and I know I’m certainly not alone. I have Summoned to Lead by Len Sweet on the way, and I’m curious to see what his thoughts are. (I’m open to other recommendations as well, so post a comment if you’ve got one.)

I’ve seen the model of pastor as CEO critiqued in many places (here is a recent example) and I tend to agree with those critiques. On the other hand, I’m not ready to toss the notion of leadership completely out the window as many choose to do. I think there is a scriptural precendent for it. But, if the notion of pastor as CEO has too many shortcomings, what can it look like?

I certainly don’t have the answers yet, but a recent conversation with a friend brought an interesting thought to mind. Perhaps we should look more to political leaders as model to see what we can learn from them. Political leaders are more like church leaders in that they have a consituency of people to lead, rather than a bottom line to accomplish. I recognize there are lots of problems with this as well, beginning with the fact that the word ‘political’ has lots of negatives associated with it. Pastors needn’t become politicians (any moreso than they sadly already are), but perhaps we can learn from the many experiences in leadership that politicians have had.

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