In reading Amitabh Singh’s book, I was immediately reminded of a statement made years ago by the American futurist and philosopher, Alvin Toffler, who stated, “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”  Needless to say, organizations, including the church, are experiencing significant change today.  Perhaps a distinguishing factor of the present compared to periods of change in the past, is the pace with which we are observing the change occur. The rate of change alone has the potential of leaving some feeling disoriented and confused. Do you remember the playground merry-go-round when someone cranked up the speed? It is in this context, that Amitabh’s book provides much needed clarity, wisdom, and hope. Yes, change is inevitable, but it need not be overwhelming and debilitating.   

While it is not a stated objective, one of the serendipitous values of this book is the importance placed on the various dimensions of expertise required to see organizations not only flourish in the short-term but be sustained in the long-term. In the church, we identify these as spiritual gifts and note that Scripture encourages the exercise of all gifts to ensure viability and sustainability. Using the metaphor of the body, the Apostle Paul stated, “eye cannot say to the hand, I do not need you.” One of these necessary gifts is the gift (or gifts) of administration. 1 Cor 12:28.  

In my nearly 50 years of first-hand experience in business and church leadership, I have witnessed on numerous occasions the unfortunate practice of pedestalizing certain gifts above others and have watched the predicable calamitous results.  Organizationally, two essential gifts are required. Leadership and administration. Leadership sets the course.  Administration gets you there. Administration is a necessary complement to the gift of leadership to ensure the vision and mission of the organization are accomplished effectively. Both must function effectively for the organization or church to thrive. Unfortunately, I have observed ministries where the gift of administration has said to the gift of leadership, “I do not need you.” In time, that ministry becomes mired in bureaucracy and details, and the vision is lost. On the other hand, and equally unfortunate, I have witnessed the gift of leadership say to the gift of administration, “I do not need you.”  Consequently, ministries have been led to the financial precipice resulting in financial and relational casualty. Without actually stating it, Amitabh Singh outlines why the gift of administration is so essential to a charity or local church.  Diminish or dismiss it to your peril.  Yet, at the same time, he honours and recognizes the importance of the gift of leadership.  Amitabh captures the necessary synergy between these two gifts like few others.

While the title of the book is Church Leadership 4.0, there are numerous leadership and organizational insights and transferable principles to provide significant value to administrative leadership in any not-for-profit ministry, business, education, and government.  And, as an added bonus, Amitabh writes not as a philosophical idealist but as a seasoned veteran.  His idea has been shaped on the anvil of real experience and proven trustworthy in actual organizational life. 

David E. Hazzard

General Secretary-Treasurer
PAOC, Canada

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