Monday, December 19, 2005

Bob Buford and the Leadership Network

The Leadership Network has been a key organization that has now trained an entire generation of Christian pastors -- particularly the megachurch pastors -- to be "leaders" in the Peter Drucker corporate model. Buford was the chief mechanism by which Peter Drucker was able to gain access to the evangelical realm to implement his model of a "healthy society," particularly with his faith-based agenda (merging Church and State). This leadership training taught the men to be "change agents" using the most sophisticated psychological and sociological tools for manipulating groups to "transform."

This week's Herescope will focus on some relevant history of Leadership Network, to show its linkages to other neoevangelical movements for "transformation." An article by Brad Cope entitled "Top of the Game," appearing in the August/September 2000 issue of LifeWise magazine (Focus on the Family), demonstrates the early connections between Buford and the national faith-based movement. It also takes note of Buford's focus on recruiting young leaders to become change agents.

"At a Leadership Network meeting last spring, . . . Leadership Network President Brad Smith paced the small group through the agenda. They reviewed the organizationbs mission, settling on "communicating principles to make congregations more effective - a Bell Labs for the church at large." They discussed ongoing training programs for pastors and lay leaders. Each year, Leadership Network offers seven one-day seminars and three five-day institutes to its database of 10,000 churches. Other agenda items included networking young Christian leaders, funding church-development opportunities and considering a request by Texas Gov. George W. Bush. [emphasis added]

"The governor wanted Leadership Network to promote and run an upcoming conference on new partnerships between government and faith-based organizations. 'The state and the feds will put in $25,000,' Smith said. 'They want the Buford Foundation to put in another $25,000.'
Buford sat in silence, cocked back in his armchair. After a moment he said, 'I will put that in.' . . . The next item on the agenda included several Buford-backed 'venture philanthropy' projects costing millions of dollars." [ ]

The Truth:

It is noteworthy that the way leaders are being trained in Christendom today is not truly Scripturally based. However, Scriptures are taken and used to validate the new psycho-social management training for leaders. The methodologies may be cloaked in biblical sounding language, but they come straight out of the world's system of operating.

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." (2 Peter 2:1-3)