I think that the church, particularly, should shy away from this kind of leadership thinking. It is imported from the business world, which functions according to values which are in absolute opposition to those of the church. What works in the boardroom will not work if your goal is to be a disciple of Christ. It works great if you want to Pontious Pilate, or Herod. But we buy into this when we obsess about being leaders – we go out and produce Herods. We read books on how to be Herod. We go to seminars on how to be Herods.
Our models, from scripture especially, are highly ineffective leaders. Jesus Christ and Stephen R. Covey have almost nothing in common, and we shouldn’t kid ourselves. We are not called to be effective leaders.
I think we are inclined to worship our leaders, and to try to acquire this thing called leadership, as if it will solve problems. But when we buy into the business paradigm of leadership that is so incredibly popular right now, we end up worshiping ourselves. We end up relying on ourselves to be effective, to accomplish what needs to be accomplished in the world.
First – better leadership has failed us thus far. This are still messed up pretty royally, regardless of how many “leaders” we produce. How many leadership seminars do you think it’ll take to make peace? To do justice? To love our neighbors?
Second – we’re looking in the wrong place. You can go be an effective leader. Talk to Leadership Gurus (or your leadership training program of choice – they are interchangeable) and let them walk you through the ten habits of highly effective blah blah blah, the eight steps to whatever, the secret of stuff that doesn’t matter. You’re learning how to organize a crew to arrange deck-chairs on the Titanic.
We hope in God because another leader isn’t going to save us. We’re not going to figure it out. We can’t fix it. We can hold it off, but ultimately, we are overwhelmed. We hope in God because hoping in the next clean-cut wanker in an expensive suit isn’t going to do the job, unless the job is to earn more money for other clean-cut wankers. But if the job is being the church, then we need something other than more “effective” leaders. A church full of middle managers is long dead.
…I’ve got more to say, but I’m trying to keep these short.