In one of the coaching cohorts that I am helping to facilitate we have been talking about our leadership histories. As the conversation went on, the group pushed me to share with them a list of what I value in the leadership culture of a church, and the ministries that I lead.
Now, the understanding here is that orthodoxy is not at question… there can be many fine, Bible-believing churches that do not value what I am about to share, and that is fine! I just wouldn’t want to serve there.
Here is the list that I developed:
- Team-based, collaborative leadership. I have no desire to be a dictator, and when I am that is not a good thing. I need people coming alongside me and helping fill in the gaps in my skill set. I also do not want to work with, or for, a dictator. That does not end well for anybody, but let me come alongside you and fill out the gaps in your skill set… now we’ve got something!
- Communication. I have decided that my new job title is that of Professional Elephant Killer… I kill the elephant in the room (you know, the things that everyone knows but is afraid to talk about). I value honest, open, unpretentious communication. Sometimes this can be contentious, other times it can be direct, but if it is intended to further the expansion of the Kingdom, bring it!
- Vision. I am going to die far too soon to be involved in a church that does not have a compelling vision. Inspire me, get me excited about where we are going, tell me how we are getting there… or, let me do it. Either way… this is a pretty big deal for me.
- Critical Thinking. I am not a methodology snob. I do not believe that there is one right way of doing ministry (whether church planting, multi-site, missional communities, or whatever). I think that there are at least four hundred right ways of doing church. Having said that, you better be able to tell me why you are doing the things that you do, and whether they are working or not (and why you think that).
- Movement. I have at times been called impatient, and told that “you can’t turn the titantic on a dime” (how’d that work out for them?) and numerous other pithy statements throughout the course of my life. In all honesty, I think that I have been misunderstood. I am not looking for the switch to be thrown and everything to change, but I AM looking for movement: constant improvement, steady growth, a plan of action, a strategy… something! Lack of movement is bad for bowels and churches.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this: what am I missing, what would you add?
What do YOU value when it comes to a church’s leadership culture?