Peter Drucker’s Influence

Peter Drucker, the management guru who had a profound effect on modern evangelicalism, passed away on Friday, November 11th. Shortly before his passing, Bob Buford of Leadership Network and HalfTime fame, wrote a special “prayer about aging” which included a tribute to Drucker:

” And thank You for Peter Drucker’s life, which he invested in my own life and the lives of so many others. He has enlightened the path before me for 25 years or more. He is irreplaceable. Help me to extend his legacy to others like me.” []

In an interview in the Spring of 2003, Bob Buford explained some of the interconnections.

“When I was young, I became the head of Buford Television. I didn’t think I knew how to manage, and the person who made the most sense to me was Peter Drucker. In practical things — such as how to manage — Peter is the smartest and most profound human being alive on the planet today. I apprenticed myself to his thinking, and it worked.

“Later, I began to think, ‘I wonder what that body of management knowledge would do if applied to nonprofits and churches.’ . . . I simply joined two strands of my life: my desire to expand God’s Kingdom on Earth and the need for management.

“I found Peter’s two greatest fans, Frances Hesselbein and Dick Schubert, and we conspired to create a foundation for nonprofit management with Peter Drucker at the center that would attract other ‘planets’ in the management universe. Today, we have 300 thought leaders who under the umbrella of the Drucker Foundation — now the Leader to Leader Institute — have lent their best thoughts to the non-profit world.” [] [emphases added]

In 1984 Bob Buford founded Leadership Network to be a resource broker to supply information to evangelical leaders and pastors, particularly targeting those who wanted to develop innovative churches. This organization has served as the main conduit for Drucker’s philosophies and practices to enter evangelicaldom. Four years later in 1988 Bob Buford founded the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management (now the Leader to Leader Institute).

Peter Drucker served as one of Rick Warren’s mentors. To read a fascinating published conversation between Drucker and Warren, visit: For some additional history on Buford’s early Leadership Network, visit: For more information about how Bob Buford set up Young Leaders (now Emergent) , see the November 11th Herescope. For a firsthand account of the story, visit . It becomes obvious, after reading these pages, that there was a particular agenda that was derived from Drucker, and these organizations and individuals were set up to accomplish it.

The Truth:

For further understanding about the profound influence of Peter Drucker, see the monograph, The Pied Pipers of Purpose: Human Capital Systems and Church Performance []. Prior to delving into an extended history of Drucker’s influence, the authors write:

“Peter Drucker is now 94 years old. Should this paper end up in his hands, we sincerely urge him to repent and renounce the deeds he has committed during the long lifetime that the Lord has given him on this earth. It is not too late for you to repent, sir, and we urgently plead with you for the sake of your soul. May God have mercy on you for the influence your ideas have had upon the past three generations of mankind, and will have on the future generations yet to come. Although you say you are a believer, your testimony is incomplete and conflicting. Your writings and works reflect the esoteric philosophies that you grew up with and have embraced during your lifetime, not the humble, simple, pure Word of God.” (p. 12)

“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.” (Psalm 103: 15-18)