and seeing as how I won’t be ‘at’ the chat tomorrow
I’ll scribble a few thoughts now.
I believe leadership is essential – vital – crucial – pivotal – very bl**dy important!
So why do some react to it? Why would some prefer not to even use the ‘l’ word?
I have a sense that some of the newer take on leadership (that isn’t actually all that new anyway – look at the 70’s) comes as a reaction towards an overemphasis on ‘strong visionary leadership’ in the late 90’s from Hybels, Warren, Maxwell and the like.
It was a fairly narrow concept of leadership that emphasised:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ the need for a ‘heroic’ front man.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ a hierarchical structure with the senior pastor as CEO/boss man. and no.1 all round superstar
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ the general imbibing of a lot of corporate concepts in relation to organisational structure and practice.
If you ever went to one of those seminars then chances are you came away both inspired and depressed – inspired by the amazing achievements of these men, but depressed because there are only a handful of these kinds of leaders around” and chances are you aren’t one of them!
I believe Hybels is a sensational leader in his own context, and he has been a significant influence on my own life, but he’s a very rare breed. By suggesting that only people gifted like him are leaders is a very restrictive form of leadership.
I really gel with the APEPT model, based on Eph 4 that Mike and Al suggest in their book. It recognises that leadership can come from all of the 5 giftings – apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher and that different forms of leadership are required at different stages of a churches life-cycle.
I think it is absolutely true that Jesus is our leader, but I also feel its way too idealistic to see that as the end of the story. Even in groups that have ‘no leader’ there is clearly a most influential person, or one that others look to for a ‘lead.’ I think we con ourselves if we think we ever exist without leadership or even that we can.
I also think it is demeaning and destructive to those with the gift of leadership to try and do away with it. That is certainly what I have felt in those conversations.
I have no hesitation in saying that I am the team leader in our group. I believe the rest of the group would affirm that, but my role is not that of ‘telling what to do’ and expecting them to follow my instructions.
It is to help, empower and release the people to be who they are called to be, but it is also to do a significant amount of praying, thinking and reflecting so that I can offer a sense of direction that may actually be God.
I agree we need to reshape leadership but lets not go the way of tossing it out altogether. Jesus was one hell of a leader – would anyone dare to say different? Would anyone want to say he wasn’t a leader?…
In case you missed it, I feel strongly about this issue!