The other day two things converged to reaffirm for me a key leadership lesson. First I found myself re-reading of “Winning on Purpose” by John Kaiser. Second I had the occasion to watch the movie Ike: Countdown to D-Day (2006).
The leadership lesson is: In great causes a primary leader is essential
Kaiser’s book presents both the rationale and practicalities for pastor lead churches.
The movie opened with an intense dialogue between Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of England and Dwight Eisenhower. In that conversation Eisenhower was diplomatically demanding to be named supreme commander in Europe. What drove Eisenhower was not ego, but a deep conviction that a single primary leader was the most effective way to secure victory. It was the importance of the cause and the high cost of failure that drove him to seek this role not ambition.
Eisenhower warned that without that “Supreme” commander they would “face inter-service bickering, clashing egos and conflicting operational deployments”. Even though we might hope that the cause and context of the church would eliminate these things, my experience tells me otherwise.
The cause of defeating the Nazis was both urgent and righteous. It was fought to secure a future of freedom. The cause of Christ is no less urgent and we fight to secure an eternity of freedom for the lost. All great causes require a primary leader. There is no greater cause than the great commission.