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29
Sep

A Call to Learn from Leadership Experts AND the Broader Church

Posted on September 29th, 2010

I am amazed at how open the church is to learn from some of the best organizations and leaders about how we can more effectively run our churches (e.g. Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Tony Blair, Jim Collins, Patrick Lenzoni, Disneyworld, etc.). I applaud this. I believe the Leadership Summit (WCA), for example, is a wonderful event and gift to the broader church. What is puzzling, however, is how little attention is given to learn from the Eastern Orthodox churches, Roman Catholics, or the riches of church history prior to the Reformation. We have much to glean from the church fathers, for example, yet I am not sure many church leaders would flock to a conference on their insights for the 21st century church from Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Terullian, Perpetua, Origin, Athanasius, John Chrystostom and Augustine. We joyfully embrace God coming and speaking to us through a secular business leader. I am not so sure we so willingly embrace a Russian Orthodox priest, Coptic leader or Franciscan monk in our pulpits. Imagine the latter in an evangelical pulpit today? Dominicans, who founded the first Christian schools in the 12th century, taught the Arabic language in an effort to engage Islamic culture and riches. How many Christian schools in the USA teach would dare to teach Arabic today? What would people in our churches say if we did? I am a theological evangelical. I object, however, to the illusion that we have a corner on the truth and the rest of the global and historical church has little to teach us. May God deliver us! We have much to learn. Am I missing something or might there be a contradiction here?

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