Friday, March 20, 2009

leadership in (external) change

God help us to change.
To change ourselves and to change our world.
To know the need of it. To deal with the pain of it. To feel the joy of it. To undertake the journey without understanding the destination.
The art of gentle revolution. Amen

Change can come from internal factors, it can also come from external factors. Opawa is in the midst of external change at the moment, enjoying new faces as local community folk find us a place to call home. It’s a great privilege, but given that our community is lower-socio economic, it also brings its challenges. It’s church, but not as some used to know it.

In the midst of this, the prayer by Michael Leunig (When I Talk to You a Cartoonist Talks to) caught by eye. It became our benediction on Sunday morning. It formed the basis of our staff prayers on Tuesday, while change in various ways occupied much of the Board meeting on Tuesday evening.

Reflecting on change, someone pointed me to Jesus. And how often in the Gospels Jesus seemed to be saying, “I’m moving on. Will you come with? It will change you. It will change your world? Will you join me in living the Kingdom?”

What is challenging is the fact that often, if people said no to change, Jesus simply moved on. Which is an important thing for us as a church to hear. In God’s grace, we are being changed. It’s not easy. It never is. It never has been. Such is the call of Jesus. “Will you join me in living the Kingdom?”

I find this hard. I like to please people and I’d love to bring everyone with me on the change journey. I am wary of a leadership style which sounds like God’s way=my way; or the highway. But at times, Jesus demanded change and kept moving, even as people struggled. How, as leader, does one know when recognise this time?

Posted by steve at 09:17 PM

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