In the past day or two, I ran across this article from Christianity Today’s Leadership Journal from the Spring. It’s an interview with Jim Collins, author of the immensely popular book Good to Great. The interview mentions that he has written a shorter companion piece focusing on the social sector. Good to Great has also been well received by pastors. The interview zeros in on Collin’s thoughts about how Good to Great might be applicable to the work of a pastor and the life of a congregation.
I confess I have not read the book…yet. Folks I know who’ve read it like it and it sounds like a good book, but alas I have yet to read it. Just the same, here are a couple of highlights from the interview. It is a short article, worth the time to read it. For the United Methodists out there, what might Collins’ thoughts mean for pastors? For congregations? For Annual Conferences and for the General Conference, since we are a connectional church?
On what makes an organization (churches included) great:
1. Superior performance on its mission.
2. Distinct community impact – “What would be missing if our organization (or church) ceased to exist? Would it leave a hole in our community?”
3. Endurance over time.
On becoming great:
CT: How does a good church begin moving toward greatness?
JC: By getting the right people in key seats. These right people then ask, “What are the brutal facts we must confront?”
Finally, he points out the unique challenges of pastoral leadership in congregational ministry:
“A church leader often has a very complicated governance structure.”