Sunday, April 20, 2008

Leadership Dropout

The Christian leadership literature yields many examples of leadership “dropout”. There is a “high dropout” in local-church ministry (Gibbs E 2005:176), “many” leave after serving less than two years (Blackaby H and Blackaby R 2001:19), there is a “rather large” dropout in the first several years of full-time ministry (Clinton J R 1989:328), and 50% of trainees for local church ministry are no longer serving ten years later (Gibbs E 2005:79). Also, there are “many reasons” for dropout in latter ministry (Clinton J R 1989:356), “few” leaders finish well (Stanley P D and Clinton J R 1992:11), and “few” achieve “afterglow” (Blackaby H and Blackaby R 2001:45). The casualty rate has reached “disturbingly high levels” in local churches (Gibbs E 2005:19), and thousands of leaders shipwreck their careers every year (Blackaby H and Blackaby R 2001:230). But notice something about these statements. They are all generic -- they are applied universally -- and this is the overwhelming trend in the literature. QUESTION: What does this mean? That is, why is there such generality about dropout, and how does this reflect on current attempts to address the situation? The photo shows Eddie Gibbs.

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