As one who has benefited from reading Jim Collins, John Kotter, Stephen Covey, and several other leadership gurus from the business world, I found this quote from Tony Morgan‘s Developing a Theology of Leadership to be a very helpful reminder and convicting corrective:
It is true that we church leaders can learn from business leaders, but the corporate world should not set the foundation from which we lead. We can also learn from fellow church leaders, but they are also human and don’t provide a perfect model for Biblical leadership. When we look to other leaders, we are essentially holding on to our traditions rather than embracing the truth about leadership found in God’s Word. The Bible needs to become our filter for truth in every area of our life and ministry just because we see others doing it doesn’t mean that’s how God designed it.
Like Morgan, I still believe there is much to be learned from those who are effective in business, government, coaching, and other spheres. But as a pastor of a church – an under-Shepherd of part of the Church that Jesus is building – it is essential that I not fall for the notion that I will or can gain the most wisdom from these sources. I must never neglect or assume what the bible has to say about Leadership. Instead I must constantly submit all ideas of leadership, from whatever sources, to the scrutiny of the Scripture.
Matthew 16.18 reminds me that I am but a foreman, and that it is Jesus who is the architect, developer, and contractor. My job is to follow his design, and his lead.