Home > Uncategorized > Remembering Bob Buford, the Christian Leader’s Leader

Rick Warren, Matt Chandler, and other Christian leaders share how the innovative Leadership Network founder influenced their ministries.

A businessman, philanthropist, management coach, and inspirational author, the late Bob Buford worked behind the scenes to build a legacy that quietly extends to some of the most prominent figures, organizations, and megachurches in American Christianity today.

Buford, who died Wednesday at age 78, was a leader’s leader. It’s no wonder that he founded an organization simply called Leadership Network, designed to bring together Christian leaders and help them make their ministries more effective and innovative.

Buford was a friend to Peter Drucker and helped introduce the famous management guru’s thinking to the church. A Texas native and former cable TV executive, Buford was committed to serving fellow Christians in ministry, always asking, “What can we do to be more useful to you?” and happy to have his fruit “grow on other people’s trees.”

Ed Stetzer, executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, explains on his CT blog the impact of one of the most influential but least known chuch leaders.

Many of those who were mentored and inspired by Buford—also the founder of the Halftime Institute—also shared their tributes with Christianity Today.

Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California:

I loved Bob Buford and he loved me. In the ‘80s, we became close friends through Peter Drucker who took an interest in both of us and became our mentor. Peter once told us, “Grow your fruit on other people’s trees,” and that sums up Bob’s life strategy.

For example, after attending our Purpose Driven Church training in 1990, Bob said, “Everybody needs to hear this!” so he financed 13 Purpose Driven …

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