Are we Christians in North America overemphasizing the need for leadership in the church? We're awash in leadership seminars, leadership books, leadership videotapes, leadership consultants. We have conferences, consortiums, courses, kits. The unspoken assumption seems to be "If only we increased our level of leadership skills, we would usher in the kingdom."
For too many years in the church, leadership was undervalued and almost despised. But the solution is not to swing too far the other way. Leaders must be trained and skilled, but this truth can be blown out of proportion. By overemphasizing leadership, we underemphasize other crucial gifts, such as service, prayer, and teaching. By overemphasizing skills, we may under-emphasize character. We shouldn't be surprised, then, when we find giant leaders with midget souls.
In an Age of Institutions and Enterprises, leaders have become more needed for our complex organizational lives. Leaders remain essential for any project of scale. But they ...1