Took a while to get to LeadershipNext: Changing Leaders in a Changing Culture (InterVarsity Press, 2005). It has been sitting on my “Books to Read” shelf for some time. But I am sure glad I finally got to it. The author, Eddie Gibbs, is professor emeritus of church growth in the School of Intercultural Studies and has been on the faculty at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1984. The book, one of over a dozen books Gibbs has written, prescribes a new form of leadership for a changing cultural.
J.R. Woodward offers a nice review of Gibb’s book here if you would like to investigate more deeply. My take away at this stage in life and ministry is the central section of the book in which he outlines the activities of leadership, the attitudes of leadership, and the cost of leadership. Dedicating a chapter to those three themes, Gibbs offers an annotated list for each one. I leave you his list of attitudes but encourage further exploration. Here they are:
- Passion: Leaders are passionate people who, while passionate for both the faith community and its mission, influence others through energy and inspiration.
- Independence: Leaders resist the pressure to conform to inherited traditions and institutions
- Creativity: Leaders explore innovative approaches and creative thinking organized around an inspiring and inclusive vision.
- Curiosity: Leaders possess an insatiable appetite for knowledge and understanding as they search for new insights and seek to learn new skills.
- Hope: Leaders hold to hope sustained by a faith in a God-assured future.
- Inclusion: Leaders value individuals, their uniqueness, and their contribution to the whole.
- Interdependence: Leaders are constantly building authentic relationships and establishing connections between people.
- Forgiveness: Leaders respond positively to failure with forgiveness.
- Humility: Leaders are accessible, approachable, and empathetic allowing for a de-centered and fluid network.