Curt Pringle is the mayor of Anaheim, California, the sixth-largest city in the state. When his term expires later this year, he will have left his mark on the city like no other mayor in the history of Orange County. He is also a member of our church who understands what it means to "seek the peace of the city," as Jeremiah commanded the exiles in Babylon.
Through Curt's leadership, Anaheim has built a new downtown with mixed-use buildings, residential properties, businesses, cafes, parks, and walkable streets. The transformation has been remarkable.
People like Curt Pringle have helped me understand what leadership is supposed to look like in the church. I don't think there is any topic I have struggled with more than leadership: What's the nature, the design, the goal of leadership? What does biblical leadership look like? How do I measure my progress as a leader?
I have read dozens of books on the topic, and each one leaves me more confused because they usually present conflicting models. Some say leadership is all about servanthood. Others present a hierarchical model with a clear chain of command. Still others, a leader-less model. All have their strengths. But I've come to see that they share a common weakness—these models mostly focus on building up the church for its own sake. They lack a vision of the church as a "sent people."
In contrast to the in-house focus of many leadership models, Jesus said, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation" (Mark 16:15). This means our mission is much broader than taking care of the needs of our congregation, as important as that may be. To proclaim the gospel to the "whole creation" means the realms of business, law, education, media, politics, and ...