Mulling on the difference between a prophet and a leader. Is a prophet someone who tells the truth regardless of whether people go with him/her, whilst a leader waits for the tide to shift so that their words/actions are timed for maximum impact? (There must be a better way of saying this, but I'm still waking up)
e.g. General Dannatt's comments on Iraq: had he made them earlier in the campaign, would he have been sacked? From the people I know in the armed forces, there is widespread agreement on the ground with what he says, and the government knows it. The army is no longer sure why it's there, nor whether it's really achieved much, so as a leader he is speaking for his followers in a way which has maximum influence. You can't get much better than the PM agreeing with every word you say....
Different sort of leadership: an evening last night led by our Diocesan finance people. I've been to these before, and finished most evenings hunting around for my will to live. Someone described last night as 'almost inspiring', which is about the best that a Board of Finance will ever get! It was basically about mission, and how to resource mission both within the parish and from the Diocese. To me it communicated 2 things a) we've got a vision for the church and b) we're on you're side. Those are 2 good things to hear from your leaders.
There was one fly in the ointment: 1 speaker told us several times that the church is growing, then flashed up figures which showed that the opposite is true, at least in Bath and Wells Diocese. Ooops.