IVP contracts leadership book with president
emeritus of World Vision US
WESTMONT, IL—Richard Stearns, president emeritus of World Vision US and the author of The Hole in Our Gospel, has signed a contract with InterVarsity Press for a leadership book that will release in 2021.
Stearns was the longest-serving president in World Vision’s history from 1998–2018. He joined World Vision US to follow what he felt was a distinct call from God on his life, leaving a corporate career that included chief executive officer roles at Lenox and Parker Brothers games.
“Richard Stearns is an organizational leader and author who has long maintained a commitment to write only when he has something of importance to say,” IVP’s publisher, Jeff Crosby, said. “He has continued that pattern with this project on leadership, bringing insights from his varied career as he crafts a book of substance on core elements of leadership like courage, perseverance, integrity, humility, and much more. I’m delighted to be working with him on this project.”
Stearns said, “This book is about why I believe that the values Christian leaders embrace are more important than the success they achieve. Qualities like integrity, humility, kindness, passion, courage, and forgiveness matter more to God than the most impressive résumé of accomplishments. And I believe that Christian leaders, and even secular leaders, who embody these characteristics will lift up not only their own performance but also the performance of their teams.”
During his twenty years at World Vision US, Stearns built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the nonprofit sector. Logging three million air miles, he traveled to more than sixty of the nearly one hundred countries in which the organization works. He served as a prophetic voice for the organization, calling on the American church to respond to the AIDS pandemic in the early 2000s, and later raising awareness about the refugee crisis and global poverty. As a thought leader, Rich appeared regularly in media outlets such as Christianity Today, Fox News, CNN, NPR, Charisma News, and Relevant magazine.
Stearns’s forthcoming book will draw on the wisdom and experience he accumulated over the years in various leadership roles, but he makes it clear that leadership stretches far beyond those in official leadership positions. “I am writing this book because I believe leadership is so very important. Leadership affects every dimension of our human experience. Leadership can unite us, lift us up, and inspire us to achieve great things. And leadership is crucial to accomplishing God’s purposes in our world. In short, leadership matters to God and so it ought to matter to us.”
Ed Gilbreath, IVP executive editor, said, “Throughout his career, Rich Stearns has lived out the values of Christian leadership in both secular and faith-based contexts. He comes to this project with loads of hard-earned executive experience and a gospel-inspired love for all people. I’m thrilled that he has chosen to partner with IVP to share his unique insights on the heart of leadership. His message will resonate even more during these increasingly turbulent times in the church and society.”