Peter Drucker has been called "the father of modern management." His twenty-two books, including The Effective Executive and Managing for Results, have helped shape both American and Japanese management. Another book, The New Realities (Harper & Row), will be published in June.
As a consultant and author, he was influential in the successful reorganizing of major businesses (among them, General Motors and Sears) and advising governmental agencies (including the Department of Defense). More recently he has turned his attention to nonprofit, human services organizations, including churches, and this "Third Sector" has become the center of gravity for his consulting work.
His most recent project is a set of twenty-five audio cassettes called The Nonprofit Drucker, in which he and key Third Sector leaders, including pastors, discuss the unique challenges in leading human services organizations.
After spending two years focusing on that project, he observed: "We worry these days about the decline of the family and the disintegration of the community. But there is a strong countertrend: the creation of new bonds of community in and through the Third Sector organizations. This is a purely American development without counterpart anywhere; it may be America's most important contribution."
To ask this respected thinker and analyst what he's discovered about the church, the LEADERSHIP editors traveled to Claremont, California, where Professor Drucker, soon to celebrate his eightieth birthday, continues to teach management and social science at the Claremont Graduate School.
After a lifetime of studying management, why are you now turning your attention to the church?
Let me correct two common misunderstandings.
First, your question shows ...