The second part of this book describes the leader of the church that reaches the unchurched. A great deal of attention is given to to the leader and to the subject of leadership. Although the pastor is referred to often, the principles can be transferred to anyone in a leadership position. This is especially true of the chapter that covers what makes the leader tick. The following is a six-point profile that is painted of the unchurched-reaching leader. First, the leader had tenure. The average tenure of a pastor in America (all denominations), according to Rainer, is 3.8 years. The average tenure of an unchurched-reaching pastor is 11.8 years. As I see it, tenure is vitally important. It is with tneure that that a leader earns the confidence of the people and then the right to take then where he believes God is leading. Second, formal education was present. The majority of these leaders were seminary trained. Third, passion marked the life of the leader. Passionate was the word used to describe their attitude toward the church. Fourth, reading was imporant. These leaders were avid readers and were always seeking to learn something new. Fifth, preaching was fundamental. Sixth, these leaders were overwhelmingly conservative in their theology.
Leaders are not perfect. I don’t know anyone who is. In one of the chapters, Rainer included research that both surprised me and encouraged me. He listed the top twelve strengths and weaknesses of the unchurched-reaching leaders. These strengths and weaknesses are the result of questions asked of the leaders themselves. I want to share the top six in each category.
Strengths of the Unchurched-Reaching Leader
1. Ability to Cast Vision
2. Sense of Humor
3. Work Ethic
5. Leadership by Example
Weaknesses of the Unchurched-Reaching Leaders
1. Pastoral Ministry
2. Lack of Patience
3. Dealing with Staff
4. Dealing with Criticism
5. Always Task-Driven
6. Too Little Time in Prayer
In conclusion, I want to repeat what I said at the beginning. If you enjoy research, you will enjoy the format of this book. If you are not a research person, you may find yourself bogged down in percentages, numbers, and graphs. That being said, I highly recommend this book. Anyone who is involved in the work of the church, as it relates to connecting unchurched people to the body of Christ, will benefit from this book. In my opinion, the benefit of this book is insight. It is tremendously helpful to know how the unchurched think and what has kept them from the church. It is with this knowledge that we as leaders and laymen can better build the bridges the unchurched need.