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Not a week goes by before another leadership book or three crosses my desk. In a pile of recent church books sitting in front of me sits The Soul of a Leader, The Leadership Dynamic, and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.

A Google search reveals a plethora of leadership groups, organizations, and institutes of every conceivable name. Want to give a kick-start to your nonprofit? Put leadership and institute in the title, and you have automatic prestige. How's this? "The Galli Institute for Leadership Development." No university or major institution, desperate for new sources of income, can forgo having its own leadership seminars/classes/degrees. Even Disney has gotten into the act with the Disney Institute — "Highlighting the vision and ideals of Walt Disney, Disney Institute is a recognized leader in experiential training, leadership development. …"

In our culture, leadership has become a "cult" — in the sense of an obsessive or faddish devotion. And Christians have been initiated into it. Besides the books that sit before me, there are many others authored by big-name pastors — or former pastors, since some pastors have managed to parlay their leadership insights into whole careers. Christian colleges are all about "developing future leaders." And there's the famous Leadership Network. And Leadership journal. And on it goes.

When Leadership came on to the scene in 1980, not many Christians thought about what it meant to lead an organization. Managing was more the rage. And few people saw the pastor as a leader. Today, it is the rare pastor who does not think of himself first and foremost as a leader who must employ leadership skills to lead his people. Gone are the days when pastors thought ...

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November 2008

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