Justin is still chasing metaphors for ‘pastor’ in the em church scene. It seems every word has connotations – some good and some bad – such is the limitation of language.
‘Coach’ gels well with me. I have had many good experiences with coaches and with coaching. A coach can be a friend, but at the end of the day the coach is expected to help you get in shape for the game. He equips, encouarges, inspires, has been there before you and can share learning.
There are different forms of coaches too. In sport I always liked the role of coaching from the bench (basketball), but in church I feel we need playing coaches – people who are in there figuring it out with us, not yelling orders from the bench.
I guess many of the ‘issues’ with leadership often stem from people’s bad experiences. The funny thing is that for me, after 13 years in est churches I was almost always treated with kindness and respect by my leaders, so I am less concerned for the dangers of positional leadership.
When people say that leaders in positons of power become ‘abusers’ I get very toey for those leaders. Chances are most leaders are people trying to do the right thing who occasionally get off track. At least that is what I would see…
Perhaps all this just goes to show how much our experience shapes our beliefs!