Our world isn’t slowing down, so only those who are willing to maneuver the tectonic cultural shifts will have a sustainable ministry. From his extensive experience and using the biblical story of Joseph as an extended metaphor, Bishop Joseph Walker shares practical wisdom designed to help leaders reach out and equip their church to share a relevant Christian message. Joseph W. Walker III is the bishop of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Nashville, Tennessee. Under his leadership and over a span of twenty years, the church has grown from 175 to more than 28,000 members. During this time, Bishop Walker has seen people struggle to embrace the new things God is doing; and he fully appreciates how change heightens the demands of leadership. Shifting approaches to follow where God leads can also mean that leaders have to risk confronting cherished tradition, which Bishop Paul Morton calls “frozen success.” But shifting to meet new opportunities is also a delicate balance that acknowledges history while also being sensitive to those loyal people who have sustained the organization to this point. Effective leadership does not impose new ideas upon old systems without a strategy that enables everyone in the organization moving forward together. It’s not simply, “out with the old and in with the new.” Successful organizations do not forget their history, but they commit themselves to use it as a bridge to propel them to their destiny.
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