Saturday, January 02, 2010

How a Mighty Church Falls
What it takes to prevent congregational decline.
Gordon MacDonald | posted 11/29/2009

Churches and marriages have something in common: they are both organizations. One had better know how to run them. I didn't.

It was in those "awakening" days that I was introduced to my first organizational leadership book: The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker. It became one of the most important books I ever read. It opened me up to understand how people are empowered to attain objectives that are otherwise unreachable. That book probably delivered me from a first-round knockout in my life as a pastor.

Since that time more than 40 years ago, countless other writers have tried to improve upon Drucker's insights. In my opinion no one has succeeded quite like Jim Collins, who has given us books like Good to Great and Built to Last. I'm not sure that Collins had people like me in his crosshairs when he wrote those books, but many of us in faith-based and pastoral leadership have learned much from him.

Recently Collins and his team of researchers produced a smaller work titled, How the Mighty Fall, which he says began as an article and ended as a book. Being a preacher (and a writer), I understand that.

Collins says How the Mighty Fall was inspired by a conversation during a seminar at West Point where a few dozen leaders from the military, business, and social sectors gathered to explore themes of common interest. He had posed this question to the group: "Is America renewing its greatness, or is America dangerously on the cusp of falling from great to good?"

The conversation came during a break when one of the CEOs approached Collins to say: "I found our discussion fascinating, but I've been thinking all morning about your question in the context of my company. We've had tremendous success in recent years, and I worry about that."

Read more at Leadership Journal

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