Christianity Today has an interesting debate between North Point Community Church’s Andy Stanley and the author of Good to Great, Jim Collins. Well, it’s not so much a debate. Both are interviewed in the April issue of Leadership and some of their comments are pulled together into this teaser thinly disguised as an article. But the comments are still good.
The topic is leadership and whether or not there’s a spiritual aspect to it, which is very similar to our continuing discussions on marketing. The article seems to put Stanley and Collins at odds with Stanley saying good leadership is good leadership and Collins saying the church environment has special circumstances that a good business leader may not know. I think both are right.
“One of the criticisms I get is ‘Your church is so corporate…’ And I say, ‘OK, you’re right. Now why is that a bad model?’ A principle is a principle, and God created all the principles.
“Churches should quit saying, ‘Oh, that’s what business does,’ That whole attitude is so wrong, and it hurts the church. In terms of the shifting culture, I say thanks to guys like Bill Hybels and others who have been unafraid to say we have a corporate side to ministry; it’s going to be the best corporate institution it can possibly be, and we’re not going to try to merge first century [with the 21st ].”
“A church leader often has a very complicated governance structure. There can be multiple sources of power, constituencies in the community, constituencies in the congregation. With all of that, you’re going to run into trouble if you try to lead a church as a czar. Church leaders have to be adept in a more communal process, what we came to call ‘legislative’ rather than an ‘executive’ process.”