Leadership (Communitarian) Network

By Brannon S. Howse

In a Drucker Foundation book, The Community of the Future, Bob Buford contributed a chapter on the Leadership Network. Entitled “How Boomers, Churches, and Entrepreneurs Can Transform Society,” Buford’s chapter explains: 


There are three major sectors in American society: the government, which ensures compliance with laws and allocates resources; the business sector, which provides jobs and fosters economic development; and the social sector, [churches & nonprofits] which addresses social and existential needs. All three sectors must do their part if we wish to create... healthy, socially functioning communities in the twenty-first century….


Where have we heard that before? This is the same message we hear from Bob’s mentor, communitarian Peter Drucker, and his disciple Rick Warren. 


The Community of the Future introduced Bob Buford as:

Founder of Leadership Network, a non-profit organization that encourages innovation and entrepreneurship among leaders of large churches and parent church organizations. He has held leadership roles with the Young President’s Organization, and the World President’s Organization, and has been a moderator of executive seminars at the Aspen Institute.


That Bob Buford has moderated executive seminars with the Aspen Institute is incredibly significant. The Aspen Institute is a radical group trained in Fabianesque techniques for how to bring about changes within a community. They are skilled at changing people’s behavior. 


As background: in 1977, The Third Try at World Order was written by Harlan Cleveland of the Aspen Institute (the full name of the group, by the way, is Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies). Cleveland explained that the institute calls for “changing Americans’ attitudes and institutions…complete disarmament (except for international soldiers)…for individual entitlement to food, health and education.” This means disarming the populace—taking away the Second Amendment rights of Americans—along with a redistribution of wealth. 


The list of honorary trustees for Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies includes communitarian Maurice Strong, who hosted the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and helped write the summit’s, Agenda 21. Strong also helped write the Earth Charter. 


In reaction, since the early 1990s, my friend Tom DeWeese has exposed the truth about this group:


Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the U.N.’s Earth Summit, which produced the Biodiversity Treaty and Agenda 21….Strong owns a ranch in Colorado, where he has built a Babylonian sun god temple. Strong told the Earth Summit, “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrial civilizations collapse? Isn’t our responsibility to bring that about?”


Someone who worships a Babylonian sun god seems like a strange bedfellow for the head of a “Christian” leadership organization.


Worship Service or Customer Service?


Following Peter Drucker’s model, the people who go to church can now be viewed as customers. In a 1998 Forbes magazine interview, Drucker bridges business and church strategies when he says, “noncustomers are as important as customers, if not more important: because they are potential customers. … Yet it is with the noncustomers that changes always start.”


This suggests that non-church attendees are potential customers, so non-customers are more important than the church’s customers. There are also more non-customers than customers, and if you can find out why non-customers aren’t yet customers, you can turn them into customers by doing the right things to attract them.


What market research can help you discover this necessary non-customer information? You go around your town or city and take a survey of neighborhoods, asking unbelievers how they would program a church so they would want to attend (this has really been done). The unsaved, not surprisingly, want a church that looks like the world and makes them feel comfortable. They want a pastor who is a life coach to assist them in having their “best life now.” 


This is the same model Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Church has promoted for years. Hybels also signed the Yale document and has hosted Rob Bell, Brian McLaren, Tony Blair, and rock star Bono at his church or conferences. (His family aids in perpetuating the agenda as well: Bill Hybels’ wife writes for neo-Marxist Jim Wallis in Sojourner magazine.) Hybels seems especially comfortable with the Drucker model as he declares:

Unchurched people today are the ultimate consumers. We may not like it, but for every sermon we preach, they’re asking, “Am I interested in that subject or not?” If they aren’t, it doesn’t matter how effective our delivery is; their minds will check out.


The unbeliever who attends a church where the Gospel is being preached might laugh and discount the message because the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing (1 Corinthians 1:18). The unbeliever may hear the Gospel and decide that he or she wants to hear more. Or he or she may hear, believe, repent, and come to faith. These are the three responses Paul received when he preached the Gospel to skeptics and critics on Mars Hill as recounted in Acts 17. That’s the way it is supposed to work. 


Yes, the unsaved may hear the Gospel and reject it, but the solution is not to water down the Gospel to make it more appealing, but to preach the Gospel and pray the Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of sin and that they respond by repenting and placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is not our job to get people saved. It is simply our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ to present the biblical truth of the Gospel without compromise. 

Copyright 2012 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative. 


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