Parishable Items July 2011
There will be no scrapbook meeting this month!
Greetings y’all,Something I noticed Pentecost Sundaywas how few people were willing to get upand recognize themselves as leaders of thechurch. The leadership of the church is not just the pastor, it is not just the chair of thedifferent committees; the leadership of thechurch is the membership. How do I knowthis? Because I am the pastor of aCongregational style church. Our entirepolity is based on the idea that thecongregation has authority within the life of the church.It should be noted, however, thatChrist is the head of the church. Thecongregation is the leadership of the churchin regards to general working and policy of the church. So if the congregation is theleadership, what is leadership and what doesit mean for how we work with others?First off, I define leadership as “thatwhich focuses on relating people to oneanother with the purpose of working withthem to understand and address the(sometimes) complex issues in which allinvolved have something invested.” Theseprinciples apply primarily to the church, butcan be expanded to include any groupincluding social clubs or families.
1Leaders love and rely on God…andhelp others do the same.
AsChristians, we are all called toserve God. As leaders, we mustrecognize that we are working withthe support of God in heaven.When working together, we mustbe able to work knowing that allare loved and called by God. Whenin conflict, we must act in such away that our opponent is also lovedand called by God.
2Leaders don’t work in a vacuum…there is much that surroundsthem and what they do.
Thisprinciple may well be called, “payattention to context”. Life ismessy, which means that thingsget complicated and sometimesthere is just too much stuff on ourplate. In these times, we mustunderstand that everyone iscoming from their ownbackgrounds. The experiencessomeone brings to the table willserve to color their understandingof the conflict.
3Leaders make decisions…and takeresponsibility for them.
This isa difficult principle in ourcongregational polity because wevote to determine our course of action. However, there are timeswhen unilateral decisions must bemade, whether they are in thecircles or in worship. As leaders,we must take responsibility for ourdecisions and accept the results of our action. This does not meanthat we can’t change our minds,but it means we have to take careto make our decisions with thewhole community in mind.
4Leaders are relentlessly self-reflective…no one else can doit for them.
This is the lastprinciple I’ll mention here, though I2