Friday, February 4, 2011

Facing A Changing World

In researching and working on some leadership development material for an upcoming seminar, I came across the following:

Christianity is a religion of change. Jesus' call in Mark 1:15 (the kingdom of God is at hand) was a call to change - change of mind and heart, of conduct and character, of self and society. By its very nature Christianity is a religion for a changing world and has always had its greatest opportunity during times of upheaval.

The Christan leader has no option; he must face a changing world. If the leader is to render maximum service, he must both adjust himself to the phenomena of change and address himself passionately to the business of producing and guiding change. Here are some elements that constitute the changed world in which the Christian leader today is called to fulfill his ministry.
  • Changed world outlook
  • Changed economic philosophy
  • Changed social consciousness
  • Changed family life
  • Changed community conditions
  • Changed moral standards
  • Changed religious viewpoints
  • Changed conceptions of the church
  • Changed media for molding public opinion
  • Changed demands made upon the leader
Pretty good list, right? Dead on. Taken from today's headlines.


The author was Gaines S. Dobbins, distinguished professor of Religious Education at my alma mater, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in Louisville KY.

Written in 1947.

As the introduction to the book "Building Better Churches: A Guide to Pastoral Ministry."

Dr. Dobbins retired before I was born, but I had the privilege of sitting under a couple of professors who were students under Dr. Dobbins. When I came across this book in a used bookstore recently, I bought it on impulse. After flipping through it, I realized it was a treasure of leadership wisdom.

Time to go back to school...

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