Last week was speaking week for me. Three different talks to three different audiences. That is rare for me. I enjoy giving talks but do very few because of other commitments.
But the first group was a class of about 50 seminarians. I was invited by one of my former professors, a man who unbeknown to him, turned my life toward what I do now.
One of the books we read in his class was Kennon L. Callahan’s Twelve Keys to an Effective Church, one of the solid “church growth” books of its era. It’s principles still hold up fairly well.
But almost twenty years ago now, I read Callahan’s follow up entitled: Effective Church Leadership.
I explained to the class that there are three statements that lead the first three chapters of the book (The first line of each chapter) that I think perfectly describe the difference in leadership for the past 20 years and will continue to define leadership into the future.
Callahan was describing the American church leadership and the American scene here in these statements. Remember, he wrote these 20 years ago.
Chapter 1. “The day of the professional minister is over. The day of the missionary pastor has come.” (p3)
Chapter 2. “The day of the church culture is over. The day of the mission field has come.”p13
Chapter 3. “The day of the local church is over. The day of the mission outpost has come.” p22
From 1990 to 1996 in my former leadership role in a denomination I looked through these lenses. As I reflect on the past 15 years of my work at Leadership Network I have looked through those lenses
and have come to realize that those taking new kingdom ground are living into those realities.
Those who are not looking through these lenses are frustrated and defeated.
So when people ask me about a particular church, I always hold in my head these statements and ask myself: Are they living into these realities?
How about you?