Archive for May, 2006

emerging leadership

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006
Posted over on smallritual.org blog on the post about emerging leadership.The problem, from my point of view, about discussing emerging leadership, is that the word ‘leader is a self-defining pictoral word. You simply cannot use it without in some sense accepting the concept of someone going out in front whil others trail behind. In fact, I think that it is possible that the word is also a problem for traditional churches because it is such a physical concept that following can be interpreted as ‘sitting in the same room’ as the leader. 

However, there are aspects of ‘leader’ that are useful but better addressed in different language: initiative-taking, authenticity, responsibility, for example.

This always leads me to the vast store of New Testament concepts in which the initiative of the Holy Spirit works through individuals. Lists of gifts (charismata), ministries, spiritual gifts (pneumata) and bodily organs all point to a universality of autonomous/spirit-directed activity.

How that dynamic works within the individual to produce a unique product of God and the individual in his/her culture, how this activity combines in groups to produce a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts and how initiative-taking individuals in community resolve conflict and questions of self-delusion: these are subjects that emerge from this concept, rather than how to shoehorn in ‘leadership’.