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Lance Ford’s “UnLeader”: Deconstructing what “leadership” has become in the N. American church.

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A few years ago, I got mad and wrote an incendiary post arguing “leadership is not Biblical” I was arguing that the word “leadership,” as now defined by the leadership culture of American church along with its leadership summits and the business culture of American business it has imported into the church, is blantant heresy. It is not only un-biblical, it is counter-biblical. Ok, so I think that might have been a bit much. In The Great Giveaway in 2005, I wrote (in ch. 3) about the loss of Christian discipleship in mega church leadership. This was a more reasoned address to the issue.
Most recently, Lance Ford has expanded upon, developed and lived these issues in a book he has written entitled UnLeader. Bill Kinnon recently told me, in speaking about Lance’s book in relation to what I had written in The Great Giveaway, “yeah, but people are going to read this book!” Ouch. But I surely hope so. I recommended this book with the following blurb:

“Take a moment and notice the growing disenchantment with leadership idolatry in this country.  Then let Lance Ford be your guide through the massive changes God is working among us in this regard. UnLeader is a fast, engaging read that makes a compelling case for different way – a starkly Biblical way – towards leading the church into God’s future.”

Here’s Englewood’s review of the book (always a good place to go for book reviews). It’s a key contribution to this conversation we must have in the church of N America. It addresses the key question: How must the way we lead change, if the church is to be mobilized into God’s Mission? It starts us into the heat of the conversation. The hard fought on the ground answers will have to come as we work this stuff out on the ground (here’s my own attempt to begin to address this next issue). At the very least, pastors at regional conferences should read it and chew on it and ask “how have our forms of leadership been infested with ego and success motivations?” How can we lead so that the Lordship of Christ reigns over us and is listened to versus a dominant hierarchical voice often acting in coercive and unilateral ways.

Thanks to Lance Ford for writing this.

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