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Stone Campbell Movement Analysis

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In much of the literature surrounding leadership, there is relatively recently developing interest in the importance of values and vision in effective leading. Alexander Campbell, important figure in the Stone-Campbell Movement, also known as the Restoration Movement, as a valuable example of vision as it pertains to effective leadership. Campbell was a benchmark for how vision is important in any endeavor to achieve a goal, develop followership, and taking risks to attain to that his vision, which, ultimately was a vision that appealed to the highest vision of all, the vision of God for His people. Alexander Campbell was an Irishman, born in 1788, who emigrated to the Americas and was heavily involved with the Restoration Movement, sometimes…show more content…
Stone already had amassed approximately 10,000 followers in his movement, and with the addition of the Campbells’ 12,000 followers, formed a non-denominational movement that went developed into several church groups, such as the Churches of Christ, Christian church and churches of Christ, and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Campbell went on in the movement, writing books, publishing a periodical, The Millennial Harbinger, and chartering a college for ministers, Bethany College. At the time of The Millennial Harbinger’s first publication in 1830, the Stone-Campbell Movement numbered at about 22,000 people. By the time Alexander Campbell died in 1866, the movement amounted to over 200,000 members. There are a few points of interest where the evidence of vision and values are evident in Campbell’s life that must be addressed. As James M. Wall says, “imagination is needed” to break the patterns of conflict and ideological debate. Breaking those kinds of patterns is exactly what Alexander Campbell set out to do as he began his movement focused on unity and faithfulness to Scripture in the church. It seems fair to equate Wall’s “imagination” with “vision” as it relates to the life and work of Alexander…show more content…
First, the movement had an inclusive vision, an essential aspect of relational leadership. Part of the Restoration Movement’s crux was an orientation toward only centering their focus on what the essentials of Scripture were. This is not to say that non-essentials were unimportant to the Stone-Campbell Movement, but that there was a sort of healthy perspective that prevented those non-essentials from furthering the division in the church, the exact purpose that the Movement was seeking to end. The Movement had an eye toward a common purpose, a vision that they would seek incessantly. As Kouzes and Posner put it, “People commit to causes.” This was a cause that people could subscribe to and commit to in the way that they treated others with different opinions and thoughts. The movement sought to interact and work with members of denominational groups and people from different church traditions if those people were willing to compromise by working with people who may not share ideas on the minutiae of doctrine and
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