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Posted December 1, 2013
This book provides some good common sense advice for leaders in
This book provides some good common sense advice for leaders in the corporate and church world. Thus, pastors can learn from this book. But there is a caveat. I write this review as one who served as a former military officer and currently serving as pastor. At times I am uncomfortable with some of the language that is used because it can draw attention away from the true nature of the Church.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The good sections in this book regard the “business” end of leading in the church. Thus, most of the ideas are corporate oriented, very practical and useful. From that perspective, Chapter “Have and Exit Strategy” and “Why Vision Matters” are most useful for church leaders. Chapter questions focus the reader on application.
Observing pastors for many years, I find that when we plan something, it is obviously the best, maybe “God’s will.” But such presumption can not only hinder current plans for the church, it can blind us to faulty logic and dead ends.
“Have an Exit Strategy” offers a planning alternative to avoid dead ends and cramping future plans in church activity. The best advice is the subsection: “Never Make a Change When You Can Conduct an Experiment.” As the author notes, “Unfortunately, this is a hard concept for many leaders and organizations to grasp” (p. 35).
Another helpful insight comes in the “Igniting Innovation” section, namely the difference between artistic and organizational innovation. “The unfortunate byproduct is confusion: it encourages leaders and organizations to take risks and behave in ways that are perfectly appropriate for artists, but foolhardy for leaders of organizations” (p. 44). Thus, something looks flashy, innovative, challenging may not be the solution for the pastor, church leaders. Good advice for church leaders.
Part 4 (“Sabotaging Innovation”) in the book shows the negative aspects of leadership pitfalls and failure. Sometimes in churches we are blind to the destructive effects of leadership failures. One of the weaknesses of the chapter is that the focus is on failure, but within the Church, there is another critical factor: forgiveness and restoration. This does not excuse or worse encourage leadership failures, but it is the heart of what the Church is. Interestingly in contrast the Part on Breakout Decisions highlights that the “two new keys to reaching the current culture: authenticity and compassion” (p. 125).
The “Champion” mentality seems to contradict the earlier advice: avoid the “curse of hype” (pp. 90ff.). As for pastors serving congregations, this book leaves a gap in leadership. Hence my recommendation is a qualified good read. Because… the business side of decision making (even mission statements and vision statements) consumes the the reader’s attention. Much good insights for leaders. So, for the reader, enjoy, learn, but keep that secondary to that which is most important.
Thanks to Zondervan for a preview copy for an unbiased review.
Posted November 12, 2013
I am raising and educating my children, and that often requires
I am raising and educating my children, and that often requires a certain level of innovation: if something’s not working, I’ve got to change it. Learning to innovate, to think outside the box, is an important skill for homeschooling moms.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
However, there is one fact about innovation that the success gurus never mention: most innovation leads to failure. Larry Osborn, a very innovative church leader, knows this and has written Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail to explain how to increase your chances for successful innovation. ...For business, non-profits, and even church and family life, Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret has many helpful ideas about people and change. However, even though the author is a pastor, I cannot recommend his attitude for churches and families. Read my complete review at Tea Time with Annie Kate