Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Leadership Formation as mission-shaped practices

This is a sign of some of our recent work at College – we’re shifting our formation day processes for candidates to focus around the practices of mission-shaped leadership. Here’s the email that went out yesterday to candidates and those in a Period of Discernment.

Our next Leadership Formation Day is August 5, 9:30 am – 3:30 pm. We will begin in S1.

As it is the start of a new semester, we will return to the vision for Uniting College. When Andrew Dutney introduced the new name of the College to Synod in 2009, he did it by reflecting on his experiences of backpacking around Europe. He described the backpacking habit of tearing out the chapter that related to the particular city you were in at the time. 

“It shocked me when I first saw it ….  I soon saw the good sense in what was going on. Why carry around 500 bound pages on the whole of Western Europe all day when you really only need the 20 pages on Antwerp? … It’s just extra weight on your shoulders.  In any case, the memories of the sights and experiences of a Belgian port city are carried more effectively in the stories that you swap with other travellers on the next train than in a few printed pages.”

Which he linked to the dominant image of Christian life in the Uniting Church of pilgrimage (full talk is here).

As a Uniting College team, we’ve sensed its time for another chapter in the pilgrimage of Leadership Formation Days. Prior to 2010, we met weekly on a Wednesday afternoon for chapel, community and colloquium input.

The chapter could be titled: Weekly and Wednesdays.

In the last few years we’ve met monthly on a Monday, all day. We’ve kept chapel and community and extended the colloquium input, with a range of topics – Spiritual gifts, Preamble, Conflict etc.

The chapter title could be titled: Monthly and topical.

As a team, we’ve discerned another chapter. On August 5, we will introduce this chapter. We will focus on 10 practices essential for mission-shaped spirituality. And ask each other what they mean for us as life-long learners and effective leaders in mission today. And swap stories as pilgrims on the way. (And we’ll keep chapel and community).

Perhaps with hindsight this chapter will be titled: Monthly and mission-shaped.

Posted by steve at 08:23 AM

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