The book, Leading Decisively! Leading Faithfully! Reflections and Markers is intended to serve as a multi-lingual, cross-cultural, and baccalaureate-level text on leading decisively and faithfully in Christian communities. It reflects convictions to which I remain captive, as I live and lead as a maturing disciple of Jesus Christ.
Following my retirement as president of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio, I was elected to the position of education commissioner for the Church of the Nazarene. As the education commissioner, it was my delight and privilege to work closely with the International Board of Education (IBOE), a Board representing Nazarene institutions globally, the denomination’s regional education coordinators from the Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, South America, Mesoamerica, Africa, USA/Canada regions, and many of the administrators and board leaders of the education institutions of the Church of the Nazarene.
The denomination has 51 colleges, universities, and seminaries on campuses and learning centers in 120 nations, with resources linked together in a network of support and collaboration under the IBOE. Over 50,000 students are enrolled in these institutions, with many of these adults preparing for Christian service.
My commitment to students enrolled in these institutions began in 1978, when I joined the European Nazarene College faculty in Büsingen, Germany, as academic dean. My interest increased as I worked in various assignments at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma; Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary in Manila, Philippines; and Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio.
During these years of higher education administration, I continued to return to classrooms in our educational institutions in various countries. I enjoyed teaching courses related to Christian leadership and found responsiveness to the structure and content of the classes. I also discovered that a need existed for an undergraduate level text across the regions to prepare adults for ministry. Hopefully and prayerfully, the book, Leading Decisively! Leading Faithfully! Reflections and Markers addresses this leadership challenge in Christian communities.
The book, published in English in late 2016 has now been translated and published in the Spanish and Korean languages. In addition, Portuguese, Italian and Burmese translations of the book are complete and these editions will be published by the end of the year. Please check the home page of my website, www.BoardServe.org for additional information, or go to Amazon or Kindle for print or digital copies of the book.
As much as leaders, like you and me, want to be known as decisive, with our decision-making marked by firmness and our action characterized by certainty and conclusiveness, even more critical in leading others is a distinctively Christian quality and depth of communication.
Caring for others is the mark of greatness, more so than decisiveness. Our testimony of faith in Jesus Christ must increasingly inform and transform the way we live in and lead a faith community, as that community is expressed in the home, on the job, in discipleship class, youth group, church board, local congregation, or seminary. The Sermon on the Mount—not the latest relevant leadership text—must shape us as we lead our Christian community of faith.
The vision for the book is that a younger generation of leaders will embrace the biblical model of “servant” as the driving force and organizing principle as they seek to lead decisively. A deep sense of stewardship compels me to pass on to others what has been so freely given to me, and in a way that they “will also be qualified to teach others” (cf II Timothy 2:2).
E. LeBron Fairbanks
Beautiful article Dr. Fairbanks. I am glad that you continue to serve others as a faithful servant. You were definitely one of my most favored mentors. Your wife was by far the best wife of a mentor. Brace and peace be with you both.