by Erwin McManus
True leadership affects the soul of the organization and the spirit of the people. The irony is that, while secular leadership has become blatantly spiritual, Christian leadership has become blatantly (and blandly) secular. We need to recapture the invisible aspects of leadership. We must focus our attention on the creating and shaping of ethos and then on the structures that best nurture and harness its potential. In the end leadership is nothing less than spiritual. And spiritual leaders are essentially cultural architects.
Spiritual leadership is both art and science, so the pastor must be both artist and engineer. Frank Lloyd Wright’s assertion that form and function are one is nowhere more apparent than in the church. All the material from which God builds his church exists and emerges from the hearts of God’s people. The church is a construct of human talents, gifts, intelligence, passions, skills, disciplines, experiences, and commitments energized by the Holy Spirit.
If true leadership is essentially spiritual, then serving as a pastor is the ultimate leadership challenge-leading as a servant of God. The context is invisible, mystical, of the spirit-both the Holy and the human. The product is real, tangible, transforming both personal and cultural.
The metaphor of a leader as a cultural architect encompasses this dynamic, not on a parallel track in the leadership process but as an integrated component. The cultural architect effects cultural transformation from the wisdom of both disciplines. His work is sacred as he labors to build the house of God, not with brick and cement but through each life that is joined with the community by the transforming power of God’s Spirit.