Quirky Leadership

Here’s a fun new inspirational book about leadership by John Voelz (johnvoelz.com), a musician, songwriter, and visual artist from Jackson, Michigan. He would be more quick to tell you that he designed the new winery and brewery in town (Grand River Marketplace) than that he is a pastor at Westwinds Church (westwinds.org). In fact, his official job title is Curator. A significant part of the book is a discussion of the “plumblines” or driving beliefs at Westwinds. This is not so that they can be slavishly imitated by every sycophant desperate for success and short on ideas or courage to implement them. Instead, John uses them as examples to show how these kinds of core beliefs can be developed, communicated, and implemented for different church leaders in different situations.

John draws extensively on his own experiences in ministry, both as an associate and lead pastor, to illustrate and spread a new thoughtful vision for leadership to anyone who’s listening. He seems to be willing to be as transparent and vulnerable as he needs to be in order to tell his story. He emphasizes authenticity and innovation, so the book is short on detailed step by step instructions, and long on empowerment and encouragement.

This is a very readable and entertaining work, that includes a fair amount of John’s own art, and is a godsend to the aspiring leader who is not sure they fit the mold, or the seasoned veteran who is a lonely captive on the high pedestal upon which they have allowed their congregants to install them. For what it’s worth, they both now have permission from John to lead the way God designed them to lead and not the way the last person in their position led.

Although John’s experience is primarily in the area of church leadership, many of his ideas have value for other situations and could be adapted by leaders of all types.

John has posted some of his ideas at QuirkyLeadership.com, including an explanation of why he did not specifically pray about the new men’s group at his church. You can also see some of his artwork, watch videos, and get some ideas for activities to help you begin exploring quirky leadership there as well. While you are there, you might as well buy the book.

John’s former books include Broken Record, King Me, and Follow You, Follow Me.


John sings the blues with his band We Are The Ink Monkey

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