Peter Drucker told Forbes magazine that "pastoral megachurches" are "surely the most important social phenomenon in American society in the last thirty years." Bob Buford, a cable-TV businessman who pioneered Leadership Network for large-church leaders, says this is "way ahead, out on the thin branches. Tell me how many people, even in the churches, believe it." In 1991 Drucker told an audience of church leaders that American churches are in the midst of a remarkable renaissance. "This, to my mind, for my lifetime, is the greatest, the most important, the most momentous event, and the turning point not just in churches but perhaps in the human spirit altogether."

Peter Ferdinand Drucker is an old man now, 90 this year, yet his reputation in the world of business has not dimmed. He wrote "Beyond the

Information Revoluation," the October cover story for the Atlantic Monthly. Last year Forbes had him on its cover, Fortune ran a long article, and Wired, the hip techno magazine, featured an interview asking not about the past, but the future. What other 90-year-old gets asked his thoughts on the future? The Atlantic Monthly's Jack Beatty published a biography. Forbes proclaimed Drucker "Still the youngest mind." And this mind is increasingly preoccupied with the work of the church.

The kingdom of the nonprofits Drucker is known as a management guru. (He is said to detest the description.) Many would call him the world's pre-eminent management thinker. Oddly, this management expert has little management experience. Adventures of a Bystander is the title Drucker gave his memoirs, and it's a revealing choice. Drucker works alone. He has no assistant, and he answers his own phone. (It's a startling thing to punch up the number of a ...

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The Business of the Kingdom
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November 15, 1999

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