Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cray: 5 key principles for mission leadership.

Some very simple and helpful stuff from Graham Cray on the leadership qualities required in Fresh Expressions and mission

a number of principles will ensure that the leadership is appropriate.

Fresh expressions are both birthed and sustained, through discernment, and obedience to the missionary Spirit who is always ahead of us. So prayer and attentiveness to the leading of the Spirit must be central. Whenever you are not sure, stop and pray. Even more important whenever you are very sure, stop and pray! 

Be a vision bearer. Help the fresh expression to remain true to its founding vision and values. Above all accept the responsibility to keep it missional, rather than settle into a pattern of life that is self serving. If possible ensure that serving others, beyond its own membership, is a regular and constitutive part of belonging to the fresh expression.

Don't mistake leadership for control. Hold it lightly, encouraging others to exercise gifts you do not have, and create space for those who develop gifts similar to your own. Invest in people so can one day do better than you, because they build on what you have established. Always be on the look out for the next generation of leadership, rather than always trying to fill vacancies. There is only one person in overall control of a fresh expression of church. He is called Jesus and he is present through the Holy Spirit.

Have the courage to challenge inappropriate behaviour by team members, if it is damaging the ministry of the fresh expression, but never forget how patient God is with you.

Above all, set an example. We never expect people to do what we are not prepared to do ourselves. In the New Testament authority in leadership comes by the power of personal and corporate example, rooted in the example of Christ.

Reading that list, it looks like pretty much the same list of leadership qualities that are required in any church. Because the CofE is being forced to think again about church, mission and leadership by the Fresh Expressions movement, the thinking from that should be informing all of the CofE, not just those bits that are involved in mission.

And none of these 5 qualities require that you have a dog collar.

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