Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Building Leaders

A Church for Starving Artists talks about making new leaders. She is PC(USA) and looks at the process of nominating church officers and concludes:
But I also see that holding church office is a great way to mentor members to become stronger spiritual leaders. Ongoing officer training gives the opportunity to teach such things as:

* how to pray out loud with people
* how to visit parishioners in the hospital
* how to lead a devotional lesson
* how to articulate one's faith

The hope would be that all church members could do these simple things, regardless of the specific job descriptions of our church officers. Yes, they might need to know some theological dogma and be able to identify some Bible stories and passages. But they also need to be mentored in spiritual practices most of the time.
I personally think it should be mandatory for leadership.

In my tradition the bifurcation between running the secular institution and serving the spiritual body is too great. So many of the institutional decisions are devoid of apparent spiritual consequence so it is easy to ignore it. But that is not the point.

But with Christ it is less the "what" and more the "how." I have been in too many ugly and hurtful leadership meetings. Disciples should be people that could conduct God's business differently somehow. Disagreement does not have to lead to rancor.

But more, as the recognized leadership of the church, their example matters. If we pray before we decide - the congregation will see that and wonder. If we make hard decisions if the face of adversity with cheer and joy, the congregation will see that. And in so seeing they will see how Christ truly changes lives.

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