Thursday, August 14, 2008

Leadership in the Church

Currently I am reading Seismic Shifts: Leading in time of Change by UCCan clergyperson Christopher White.

One of the statements that caught my eye early in the book is that seminary education in our denomination does not actually grow leaders. ANd that is my experience. LEadership is seen as problematic, instead we should be enablers and facilitators and empowerers. But to take on a role as a leader is portrayed as being to authoritarian, non-communal.

But you need leadership. And good leadership includes all those other things. But you need the leaders in a congregation (both ordered and lay) to lead, to be visionaries/vision-keepers, to state the realities, to lay challenges before the people.

As I think about what we need to look at here (both in congregation and in the town) I keep coming back to the question of leadership. WHat does it really mean?


  1. I found that he had a lot of very good points to make about society at large, but that his take on ministry and leadership amounted to workaholism on steroids. If you'd like my full review, I can dig it up out of my old blog, Gord.

  2. On one hand, I agree that seminaries do not teach leadership skills. I had to figure out on my own that I lead best from the center of things (as opposed to being out front shouting "Follow Me!").

    On the other hand, there is some degree of leadership necessary for the church to function within its own structure. If we all humbly bow out of it, rejecting the reality that some are set aside for leadership, then we become a ship without anyone to steer it. I haven't read the book, by the way.

    Just a few thoughts on a Saturday morning...