This post is something that has come to my attention lately. Again it addresses leadership.
Up until recently there WAs only one “full-time” party leader in Canadian Politics. Three of the four traditional parties represented in the House of Commons were under the direction of “interim leaders”. It was sort of interesting to see how these parties ramp up their leadership campaigns and the list of folks who have stepped forward or are rumoured to be stepping forward.
Except it’s really boring.
None of these people are really well known, some even largely unknown in their own parties.
What we are seeing are the effects of ego centred leadership. That is, the leaders of the respective parties have so enveloped the spotlight that there is no clear protege upon which to pass the torch of leadership into the next phase of the organization.
Earlier this year I read the following post, The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives. It’s an interesting read and got me thinking about effective leadership, not only in business or government (what’s the difference these days?) but also more generally, and of course, in the church.
Strong, visionary leadership is a requirement today, as it always has been. But what makes up good leadership? Is it one person (usually male) sitting at the top of a pile of bodies dictating the will of the entire organization? A way in which the strongest survive to rule, laying waste to all other challengers? That may work in the wild where animals compete for scarce resources and the best mates, but does it work in human situations?
Look how well such an approach has worked in government. Following the last election all three opposition parties in Canada has been without a leader until recently (two are still without). There has been a long drawn out process to find a new leader, and we’ve even seen literal unknowns throw their hat into the ring with no chance of winning. Why? Because previous leaders fought to hold back potential takeovers so they could hold on to power within the party and country.
What if, instead of pushing away leadership, we organized it. What if, instead of discouraging others with similar ideals, we fostered it, worked with it, partnered with it? What if we were willing to give up a few points here and there so other ideas can make it to the top to be talked about?
What about the church? Where does it fit in here.
Same deal. There are a lot of young people inside (and sadly outside) of the church with a lot of great ideas for helping people get to know Jesus Christ yet their voices are not being heard because the current leadership seems to be unable to shift their thinking enough to hear some of these ideas.
It’s not hard to do really, so I’m not trying to place any blame here. But when you’ve been doing the same thing for a generation it’s often hard to hear something that may be quite different.
The problem is, these are the people we are trying to reach. We are into our third generation of seriously decreased church cultured people. The few we have in the church need to be nurtured into being the new leaders so the church can be a priority once again in our communities.
Do you have young people in your church? Do they understand the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ? Do they have ideas? Do they want to help rebuild the church for their generation?
Then help them. Mentor them. Listen to them. Share with them. Be with them. Give them an opportunity.
And most importantly, pray over them.
Let God use them to further his kingdom. Let’s not have a huge void in leadership. Let’s learn from the world and do better.