50 leaders of the evangelical generation: #42 John Maxwell. Mentor
[I am working on a project that may become a book on the most influential evangelicals leaders of our generation, since 1976, and the impact they’ve had on the church and their times. I will introduce them briefly on this blog from time to time. Who should be on this list?]
#42. John C. Maxwell. Mentor b.1947
John C. Maxwell is an evangelical author and speaker who has written more than 50 books, primarily focusing on leadership. Maxwell is a familiar name inside and outside the church, but particularly among business professionals. A lot of people know you when the books your write sell 13 million copies.
His training organizations–INJOY, Maximum Impact, ISS and EQUIP–have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide.
The most surprising thing about all of that is that leadership training is John Maxwell’s second career. He’s so well known as an author, for his conferences, and his high-profile speaking that most don’t realize that Maxwell pastored Wesleyan churches for 30 years.
Maxwell says God called him away from pastoring to speak mainly with business professionals about leadership. He talks often about all the criticism that he had encountered since that decision, but finds assurance in the fact that God is using him to share Christ in the secular business community. This year more people have accepted Christ through his life than during any five-year period when he was a pastor, he says.
The criticism is a characteristic of many of the evangelical community who frown on a change among those in what’s called “full time Christian ministry,” to a “secular” vocation. And Maxwell is an example of how that change can be made without losing sight of the underlying Kingdom values.
Now, Maxwell quite simply teaches people how to lead, and he’s found many ways to do it. He could sell an icebox to an Eskimo, as the saying goes, but then he’d write a book about the 10 steps it took to do it.
Every year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and organizations. Maxwell was one of 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com’s 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.
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