Beware of any literature that starts with these words: "Jesus was the greatest leader of all time." The sentiment behind those words may be true, but the point they make is irrelevant. It doesn't matter if Jesus was the greatest leader of all time. Jesus is our leader (and, in a holy sense, we're stuck with him).

The issue at hand is far from nit-picky. Evangelicals have long been accused of domesticating Jesus - making him one of "us" (often white, middle-class, socially respectable, and politically conservative). The glut of Jesus-as-leader books runs a tremendous risk as it attempts to introduce Jesus into the economy that surrounds 21st century leadership.

Jesus the leader endangers our view of Jesus the savior. Frankly, Jesus the leader is less threatening. He's an organizational director that would fit in wearing business casual and sitting in a conference room. I believe wholeheartedly that Jesus wants to control how I behave, think, and lead in when I'm in the conference room, but I don't have much confidence in Jesus as the teacher of strategic leadership lessons.

I'd like to get back to Jesus the savior, the one who sends the Holy Spirit to lead us. I'd like to bring the Jesus-as-leader genre of books along with me. I have a number of such books on my shelf right now. Several of them misrepresent Jesus the Messiah as Jesus the executive director; the others more or less get him right.

The major problem with the books that get him wrong occurs in the area of interpretation. Take John 10:10, Jesus saying, "I came that they might have life and have it abundantly." Let's evaluate the reflection on that verse published in Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership:

Many times leaders and managers expect ...
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Gospel  |  Jesus Christ  |  Salvation  |  Vision
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