Announcing the launch of my very first book: SOMEONE TO LOOK UP TO – A Lay View of Leadership. Yay!!! It’s a feedback book about doing church leadership well. You can get it here or from your favourite store.
This book scooped up several of these blog pieces, and a heapin’ helpin’ of extra thoughts around church leadership and the way we approach it.
I’m connected to a lot of leaders. One of the trends I noticed last year was that when people posted about what they were learning in their leadership seminars, the quotes seemed very … strident. Almost anti-congregation. It was as if new leaders were being trained to see themselves as a totally different, and oppositional, race from those they wished to lead. It was all very Them and Us. It was coming from several unconnected sources. It put my back up.
In addition to this, as some of you know, I’m a spiritual abuse survivor, so issues around leadership (especially combative leadership) hit all my triggers. And since the bulk of the leadership I actually engage in centres around my parenting, and I’ve had no luck with yesterday’s parenting methods, I began to see that yesterday’s church leadership styles weren’t headed for a stunning future either. And that this would be especially true of adversarial approaches. In the words of Patrick Lencioni, today’s kids “need to weigh in before they can buy in”.
I had very good leadership classes when I was in Bible college, but I don’t remember ever being taught much about spiritual abuse: how to identify it, how to avoid suffering it, how to avoid perpetrating it, how to recover from it.
Well, these three gaps – adversarial approaches, out of date approaches, and harmful approaches – coalesced in my head under the working title Consultative Leadership. I wrote 5,000 words on that first day. That was June 2018 (it’s now September 2019). I am almost finished the study-guide notebook that goes with. It’s my hope that the book (and its guide) find their way into rotation in Christian leadership classes and colleges. On a smaller scale, you can do the study in a connect group as well. There’s plenty in the book to interest observers of leadership as well as its agents.
The book is 182 pages long, has 13 chapters, is easy to read, and is friendly in tone. I hope you enjoy it. I hope it gives you some handy pointers, big signposts, and food for thought. I hope it encourages you and helps you thrive.