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Open Source Activists

The surprising impact when leaders tap the power of a generation of influencers.

A shift is occurring among the new generation of church leaders. We are thinking and leading differently than the generation that preceded us, but I didn't recognize the extent of this shift until a worship service one Sunday morning a few years ago.

I was sitting in the front row with the senior pastor. He was increasingly uncomfortable with the sound mix in the room and the way the worship was being led. He got out of his seat and walked to the back of the room to adjust everything from the lights and sound to the length of the songs. At one point he actually signaled the worship leaders on the platform that it was time to end a set. He then asked me to go back to the sound booth to make another adjustment.

I froze. I just could not do it.

The founding pastor's expectation that I be involved in everything—even acoustics—was part of a leadership paradigm that had left me weary. It assumed I was supposed to have some degree of control over every part of the church, supposed to ...

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