Friday, January 16, 2009
The Baby Has Arrived!
My newest book, Organic Leadership has arrived at my house. It looks good. Not as thick as I was afraid it would be even though it is longer than my previous books. I will have some on hand (pre-release) for any of my upcoming conferences this month (January '09). We are also providing a free copy to the first 100 to register for our Organic Church Movements Conference February 19-21, 2009 in Long Beach CA.
In OL I challenge many ideas about leadership and church life that we all take for granted. Many of them are faulty ideas about church leadership, which we continue to support but which have never really been evaluated in the light of Scripture. Ideas that corrupt our understanding of the kingdom are addressed such as our tendency to view the church as simply a religious institution with a top-down authoritative structure; and some of the temptations that tend to hijack leadership away from healthy fruitfulness and can actually cause leaders to become detrimental to the work of God’s kingdom; as well as some of the ways we try to force people to live up to a religious code of conduct with manipulative tactics. In all of these examples, spirituality is seen as something that can be put on us from the outside, rather than growing and emerging from the heart. In each case, leadership is core to maintaining these false paradigms of spiritual life and development. Thus the first section of this book addresses honestly and directly many of the factors that keep true and natural leadership from emerging organically and growing. I call them “weeds in the garden of leadership.”
The second section focuses on how healthy leadership emerges naturally from the inside out. We discover how a true leader is formed and how to measure his or her success.
In the third section of the book I share some sound scriptural principles about leaders who emerge organically and serve humbly yet are spiritually powerful in their leadership role. We come to see that the kingdom of God is countercultural. It is, in fact, counterintuitive, the opposite of what we would expect. From this vantage point we see how leaders emerge from the soil of brokenness and blossom with great fruitfulness, affecting generations to come. In this sense leaders are no different from other Christians. Living a life of Christ incarnate within us is the key to making a difference no matter who you are.
The fourth section presents practical leadership-development practices built on the foundations laid in the previous sections. These recipes for homegrown leaders are both practical and simple.
The fifth section is about resources for the life, growth, and health of leaders and churches.
I conclude with some examples of the kind of leaders that exemplify the concepts in the book. These are true stories of real people who are carving out communities of light in the midst of the heavy darkness in our land.
If you read this book, you may find you are challenged to a level of discomfort. This book is about leadership, and leadership moves forward—often into uncharted territory, which may be an uncomfortable place. Anytime we are asked to move beyond the familiar, we will feel some level of discomfort and fear.