Thursday, May 24, 2012

Minions or Ministers: do we actually want more leaders in church?

A great post from Mike Breen on the difference between leaders and volunteers, and the leadership culture of the English-speaking church. Some snippets:

A volunteer is someone who executes someone else’s vision. A leader is someone with a vision of his or her own. In truth, there are often only a few leaders in the average church, and everyone else is simply executing their vision. It’s the “genius with a thousand helpers” paradigm Jim Collins uses to describe organizations that are good, but never become great. This is the leadership movement widely espoused in the church today....

....Why wouldn’t most pastors want more leaders in their church communities?

I think there are probably many answers to this question (don’t know how to train them, afraid of releasing and relinquishing some control, unsure how to manage resources against their person agenda, etc). But I suspect the big answer is this: At the end of the day, what most pastors want (and have been trained to want!) is minions to execute the most important vision of all. Their own. In doing this, they effectively kill people’s ability to get a vision of their own.

....Are our development programs about releasing leaders to the missional frontier? Or, more likely, are they about recruiting volunteers to keep the machine of the church running? To be sure, we should attend to the organization of the church, for it is a significant thing when the scattered church gathers. But as the Church stares precipitous decline in the face—as we look to re-embrace the missio Dei—we must learn again the art that Jesus exhibited: the task of multiplying missional leaders and releasing them into the cracks and crevices of society where there is little-to-no Gospel presence.

My emphasis. read the rest here. Then discuss at your next meeting with church 'leaders'.

1 comment:

  1. This is probably one of the most important reasons why the church needs women in leadership — because most women get it where men don't: they know it's not their vision, it's God's; and they encourage people to pursue God's vision... (and yeah, I know that's probably too much of a generalisation...)