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Thursday, 29 November 2012

So...where does this leave us?

Having discussed principles and patterns of leadership and taken a fresh look at Ephesians 4 ministries over recent weeks, where does it leave us in terms of the pattern that is emerging for us at Community Church Huddersfield where I lead the leadership team.

Well we have (or are beginning to see emerge) a combination of different types of leaders contributing to the leadership and government of the church - pastoral, strategic and operational leaders. The titles and labels we might use are not important; it is about getting the right people with the right gift into the right roles. (For some roles especially, there are other factors beside gift, e.g. respect and credibility among the people, experience, etc). We are learning the dance of leadership (see earlier posts) together and we are prepared for it to get a little messy and experimental. There is a senior leader (me at the moment) who seeks to give the lead in choreographing this dance, but largely works it out with people as we go along rather than just imposing a plan, and it's essential he understands that his role, with all the leaders, is to be releasing and empowering of others. There is leadership (and authority for the responsibility) but there is not hierarchy.

As for apostolic input: we are open to drawing from different apostolic, prophetic and other ministries across the body of Christ as the Holy Spirit connects us. But there is one apostolic ministry who we look to and have relationship with more strongly than others. He is not 'over' us as this is not a hierarchical relationship; but there is genuine relational accountability that avoids the danger of autonomy. The relationship is based on mutual respect and honour, combined with honesty and openness that can allow for frank and challenging discussion. We increasingly want to see his input and relationship being not just with the leaders but with the church, as much as is practically possible. He will bring his gift to bear in helping us realise the different gifts we need to equip us.

Above all, we are trying to focus on the fact that church is primarily a family, not an army or a company. All leadership and authority is seen in that context and so is about nurturing, empowering and the passing on of an inheritance. And genuine love and authentic relationship are to be at the heart of all leadership.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting too how more and more 'mega' churches have a greater need for strategic and operational leaders rather than pastoral. At what point and what size does a church or church community leave the realm of being a family and move more into the place of being an enterprise?

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    1. Hi James. Thanks for your comment. I believe that a church must never stop being a family! And will always need pastoral leadership (shepherds who feed and care; fathers and mothers who nurture and bring security). I believe that it is possible to be a big church and still be a community (which is really a network of extended families). I have still got to work that out in practice but I never want us to be just an 'enterprise.'
      Trev

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    2. I agree totally. It's one of the most challenge questions and practices to do - "Be a Large Church and be a family" as the Bible dictates. Guys who I respect so much like Francis Chan have stepped away from the large Church for this very reason. Also, leaders like David Platt have changed large, multi thousand members churches, from the inside out while other leaders have failed to do so. What causes the success and what causes the failure. It's the multi million soul question....

      Btw, if you haven't read David Platts 'Radical' and 'Radical Together' you should make it a top priority. Totally applicable to your dreams and vision for good old 'Uddersfield!

      God Bless you Sir.

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    3. It's been a long time since I was called Sir, James!I hadn't come across David Platt's books so thanks; I'm going to take a look.

      Keep up the good work!

      Trevor (or Sir)

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  2. Love what you guys are doing in Huddersfield Trevor. Me and a few friends were saying in Saturday how well you are modelling all this stuff. I think you guys are a great example of the 'new' thing what is doing within the church in this nation. Keep running with what God has given you.

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    1. Thanks, Peter. We are very much just learning. Trevor

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