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What makes a leader effective? How can church leaders-whether ordained, religious, or lay-be more competent and dynamic?
To find answers to these questions Loughlan Sofield and Donald Kuhn identified and interviewed forty-two lay Christians who are outstanding leaders in diverse fields like medicine, politics, business, and education and who truly live their Christian values in the marketplace. Their responses can perhaps best be summed up in one word: collaboration. These "wisdom people" stress that the primary tasks of a leader are to listen, establish a vision, respond to needs, and empower others to use their gifts and abilities. They emphasize that the collaborative leader is above all a person of character who seeks to develop qualities such as integrity, generativity, compassion, and hope.
Building on the insights of the wisdom people, the authors offer recommendations on how those in formal ministry might examine their own approach to leadership and how they meet the needs, expectations, and challenges of their parishes and institutions, contending they will find in these people dynamic, if sometimes unheralded, witnesses of the Christian message who daily carry the Good News to the marketplace.