The Role of the Church in Developing Leaders

February 25, 2011

Reading an interesting book called Servant Leadership by Robert K. Greenleaf.  Mr. Greenleaf insists that it should be the church’s role to develop and nurture the leaders (trustees) for other key institutions in the nation.

Following are some of his quotes that I thought you might find interesting.

“. . . we are not doing well enough as a society. The churches are judged inadequate, along with the others [institutions]. In some ways the churches may be judged more harshly than the others because their role could be so pivotal in the regeneration of what many consider a sick society.” (p. 93)

“. . . The church was the dominant influence [in the past] in people’s lives, and it shaped and sustained the influence of the home. Now both the work environment and the school far outrank the church in influence . . . “(p. 93)

(new opportunities for churches)  “One of these will be to become the chief nurturing force, conceptualizer of the opportunity, value shaper, and morale sustainer of leadership everywhere – in business, school, government, health and social service, philanthropy – everywhere.” (p. 94)

“But the dynamics of leadership – the vision, the values, and the staying power – are essentially religious concerns, and fostering them should become the central mission of the growing edge churches. Where else can it be done?” (p. 94)

“If some of the churches do not accept the opportunity to build leadership strength for other institutions that have greater value-shaping influence on individuals than the churches now have directly, how will churches do their work?” (p. 94)

“. . . the second task is to make of the church a powerful force to build leadership strength in those persons who have the opportunity to lead in other institutions and to give them constant support.”      (p. 95)

“I believe that the churches are in the best position to become the prime moving force to produce the trustees [of institutions] who will bring these changes about and to sustain them at a high level of trust.” (p. 96)

“It is the role of the church to sanction trustees – to say who is capable of, and prepared for trust. Individuals do not assert this for themselves.” (NOTE: here he is talking about trustees for any institution – not just the church)

“If the . . . church . . . can build its competence as a nurturer of trustees, and if it will frame its work in a context of values that elicits trust in the church for this vocation, the help of the church will soon be sought by other institutions . . . that want to strengthen their trustee bodies.”

I found his observations very interesting.  What are your thoughts?

Have a great weekend!  Remember to speak words of grace into the lives of others!

In Christ,

BG