Current wisdom claims that a leadership crisis holds evangelical Christianity in a death grip. The argument goes something like this: The leaders who founded the principal evangelical institutions are retiring, and too few young stars are on the horizon to take their place.
The argument sounds airtight for several reasons: the potential of what, if true, would be a terminal trend for the growth of evangelical Christianity; the disappointing lack of character demonstrated recently by a few prominent leaders; and the experience or testimony of anyone who has had to sit through the endless meetings of a leadership search committee.
Yet recent events belie claims of a crippling leadership dearth. When earnestly seeking institutions need a leader, God keeps calling young, capable men and women to take the reins. Moody Bible Institute recently named Joseph Stowell, a man of vision and powerful communication skills, as its seventh president. North Park College called David Horner to administer its future in urban Chicago. And Philadelphia’s Eastern College named Roberta Hestenes as its president, the first woman to lead an evangelical institute of higher education. All three come to their jobs with fiery Christian commitment and impeccable leadership credentials, and have already, in the first few months of their terms, supplied constituents with good reasons to expect a bright future.
These three recent appointments reflect a process that continues despite occasional cries to the contrary. Whether it be the local church, a denominational office, or any number of ministry-related organizations, God raises up capable men and women to lead.
So where is the crisis? Perhaps it is not so much a shortage of leaders but more a problem ...1
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