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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I often hear folks express a wish for a good leader, or, better yet, good leaders. Of course, these desires are being expressed in a conversation lamenting lack of a single person willing or able to lead. To lead the congregation or to lead a particular ministry they've identified as something important to be done.

If they still deem the project or the ministry or even the survival of the congregation to be worthwhile they may resort to what they clearly see as "second best" and cobble together a group of people willing to share the job.

Let me say a few things in favour of the team! We're most likely to point to the obvious stars, the high-flyers, the charismatic loners who charge in and win the games. People who take charge, set direction and make decisions may indeed get respect and others line up eagerly to follow them, or not.

But consider the other skills it takes to go the distance, ensure long-term success, create a sense of belonging, ownership, motivation, trust, loyalty. I'd even suggest one of the most essential team skills is the ability to challenge effectively. Maybe I don't have a good idea myself, but if I can ask questions, offer refinements, push someone else to clarify their vision, are those not equally valuable to the life of the group?

Carman and I are currently working with the leadership team of our fledgling Fired Up! group. The really important, really challenging work of creating that team is going on just now. And it's very exciting to see this group coming together, clarifying its vision, making ready to develop strategies, asking the critical questions and building the trust that will be needed to achieve that vision and move into an uncertain but exciting future.

As a church we're being asked to join a team, to be part of a prophetic people, to get engaged with the discernment process, not just to wait to follow blindly the directives of our leader. This is the model Fired Up! is trying to learn--to put together a team of people with different skills, different passions, but with a vision of what such a group can do using the model of prophetic people, not just a people with a prophet.

It is a process. It takes time to practise, to recognize abilities in each other and to point those out as we are together, to notice when it's working and when it's not, to say "let's go" or "let's wait" and then to support a decision once made. Many of the congregations in CEM have leadership teams. Let's practise noticing our team processes and successes and see how far we can go.

Posted by Marion


  1. "Maybe I don't have a good idea myself, but if I can ask questions, offer refinements, push someone else to clarify their vision, are those not equally valuable to the life of the group?"

    These sound like leadership qualities to me. I think all good teams have good leaders - maybe we just need to re-think what a leader is (ie. not necessarily the outspoken, charismatic one).

  2. I agree. I guess that's what I'm encouraging: let's do some rethinking about our ideas of leadership.

    I'm so often working with pastors and in congregations who've not thought what "qualities" are needed, but just thought they needed to identify a "person" who would/could lead them. Is it possible to shift our thinking to determine if or how to put together a group who possess the essential attributes that comprise "leadership"?


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