22 May, 2006

Leadership: Leading what?

In a church of 200 people, how many do you suppose are having problems "right now?"

I put that figure at about 160, but let's assume I am a pessimist - or acknowledge that I am - and call the number 40.

What kinds of problems might those 40 people be having?

On the relationship front, there's a couple of marriages floundering, kids being abused to one degree or another, kids that are running amok, seniors that are alone and experiencing different fears, single parents pressed out of measure.

On the work front, there are people in dead end jobs, without jobs, cheating at their jobs, in fear of losing their jobs, wondering if they should leave their babies to take jobs, in need of encouragement to take chances at their jobs.

On the financial front, there are people working but who have debt, no retirement, hoarding money, no discipline, no trust in God, no foresight, no joy.

On the spiritual front, there are people who have forgotten prayer, who pray superstitiously, who have forgotten scripture, who wield scripture as a club, experimenting with license, who forget to "do" the works of faith, who have forsaken Christ for the wealth of this world, who have forgotten their first love.

On the doctrinal front, there are people taking one doctrine to an extreme, and trying to run everyone's life with it, reading and teaching heresies they don't understand, making foolish decisions because they don't trust God in an area in which He has made promises, thinking they are saved, but are deceived, wanting to get power over others because of some doctrinal leverage they have found.

On the political front, (Nope, don't try to pretend it doesn't exist. Where two or three are gathered, there is politics.) There are people who think the pastor is too impersonal/ friendly/ lazy. There are people who want the music and worship more challenging/ passionate/ purposeful. The elders should be more ____. This church building should be ____. We need to do more ____.

I probably need to go back to my 160 number. :-(

These are all things that need someone's attention. People just need attention. Even the people who sit in the front corner and disappear as soon as the sermon is over need attention. (Ask me how I know ;-)

Questions:

Which of these battle fronts is most important?

Which of these battle fronts does a seminary education prepare a man to handle well?

What training method would best prepare a leader to handle all of these things?

What training method would best teach a leader when not to react?

How can you know a leader?

How many leaders does our church of 200 need?

36 comments:

Milly said...

Questions:

I found some of these to be rather difficult to answer. I was in management and you learn from mistakes. Hands on.


Which of these battle fronts is most important? Meeting the needs of the congregation. You can have tons of people in place and lots of classes and still miss your mark.


Which of these battle fronts does a seminary education prepare a man to handle well? My answer is conflict. I hate that but it’s the truth.


What training method would best prepare a leader to handle all of these things? Hands on. Mistakes and all.


What training method would best teach a leader when not to react?


How can you know a leader? Prayer and training. We like a lot of churches have chosen unwisely in the past. The mention of one minister of our past brings ugly looks.


How many leaders does our church of 200 need? What ever it takes. It would depend on the amount of out reach, missions, classes, and so on. It’s about serving the people I don’t see a standard answer.

On the political front, (Nope, don't try to pretend it doesn't exist. Where two or three are gathered, there is politics.) There are people who think the pastor is too impersonal/ friendly/ lazy. There are people who want the music and worship more challenging/ passionate/ purposeful. The elders should be more ____. This church building should be ____. We need to do more


I know too much at times at my church. So I know all of it exists. I’ve heard it.

Danny Kaye said...

The openning question could not be more spot-on.
Which of these battle fronts is most important?

It may seem that I am being at best, uncaring, or at worst, hard-hearted. But the issue of people's faith should be dealt with first. Someone may be in a bad spot in life, but if their faith is not struggling, then they are doing GREAT and should be admired. The leader ought to focus on inspiring people to grow in their faith. A spiritual leader cannot be expected to know all and be all. We do that to them, sometimes. But that is our fault, not theirs.

I would say that most of these problems should be handled at the relationship level.

Someone's career is not the responsibility of the leadership. They can preach about ambition and morality. But to expect a leader to keep track of everyone's career is a tall call.

Classes can be taught and seminars can be attended, (as Millie said).

You brought up one touchy one, though, about the abuse. There needs to be some level of leadership involvement in cases like that; someone who has proven themselves able to handle scripture and souls competently.

Finances? Again, not the leader's role. He can encourage and instruct his flock in godly stewarding. But the implimentation is up to the individual. There are other avenues through which the individual may seek financial advice. (It would, however, be a good idea for the leadership to have knowledge of those avenues in order to direct a flock member.)

Forgotten prayer? forgotten scripture? and the like? NOW WE ARE ON TO SOMETHING!
This is where a leader has the most influence. Flock members need an inspiring example to follow. Flock members want to do what they don't yet understand, and the leader is the one person whose life is publically evident to all who can teach by example and by scripture.

People trying to run the church with doctrine? If that doctrine is false, or if the person is being divisive, the leader must step in to protect the flock. he must address the guilty party and also teach more accurately the Word so as to better equip the flock.
Again, great relationships will almost always keep someone from becoming a brute beast with the Word.

On the political front? My experience is that it is the relationships that keep people from being hyper-critical of things such as music, preaching, etc.

The leader must keep people from looking down on them by setting "an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity." (1 Tim. 4:12)

The leader must be a man who does his best to present (him)self to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

The question is:

Are you close enough to people who you can talk to and open up with, and who will help guide you through the turbulance? If not, I don't think it's the leaders job to foster those relationships for you.


I am sure there are more thoughts. But right now I gotta get going.

I anticipate a great thread, here. Thanks to our host: Mr. Rourke...I mean Codepoke. ;-)

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

I would contend that you are and optimist. I would have to say that 200 out 200 people have problems.

Which of these battle fronts is most important?

I hate to sound TOO Spiritual here, but to fight the 'good fight' we must get a plan from the Master General. The battle front that is most important is what God has put on your heart.

The fact of the matter is that they are all important and it comes down to the difference between doing good and doing God's best.

Which of these battle fronts does a seminary education prepare a man to handle well?

All or none of them... you be the judge. Other than the basics of reading, writing, and math, I don't think school of any kind is truly about learning: it is about focus. You probably got out of Seminary what you put into it.

Many of my friends who attended seminary have very negative things to say. Mostly because the professors were so gloomy about the wonders of Christianity. Still, these prof's sharpened their skills and gave them the ability to articulate their faith. It works out because their focus was in serving God.

What training method would best prepare a leader to handle all of these things?

Life... reality... hard knocks... prayer. We all know that God, not David, slew Goliath, but I would have to say that killing a lion and bear with his sling prepared him for that moment. To God be the glory, but God would have us to be prepared.

What training method would best teach a leader when not to react?

I don't know the answer to this...lol... when you find out please let me know.... rofl.

How can you know a leader?

I must assume that you mean Christian leaders? I would have to say by their fruit? I am certain that is part of the litmus.

I hold that we, as humans, are all leaders in some fashion, but as Christians, we are commanded to lead others to Christ.

How many leaders does our church of 200 need?

A church of 200 has 200 leaders. It only needs 1: God.

Lol... good luck brother!

Reading these other comments from millie and dk, I am way to simplistic in my answers... oh well!

God Bless
Doug

Ellen said...

Which of these battle fronts is most important?

Whichever one you're dealing with at any given moment...

How many leaders does our church of 200 need?

200 - even if each is leading a group of one other in one area and that person is leading one person in another area.

codepoke said...

See. That's what I thought.

Great answers from everyone. As I'm reading your answers, I keep reading bell-ringers. They are just beautiful.

But what do these answers have to do with church as you see it today?

Remind yourself of Andreia's story about the woman who exposed herself in front of her church, that her husband had betrayed her with another woman. 200 leaders? 1 Leader? Amen, but who talked to that woman? No one.

Do we all agree that this kind of leadership is the rule, and not the exception?

I hear the right answers, but I do not see them.

Milly said...

My quickest thought before I leave for work is that we just won't have the right answers because It's always different people and situations. Someone may have wanted to talk to her but was afraid to hurt her so stayed quiet others may have understood too well and didn't want to talk about themselves. I'm sure that in my church I would have been surrounded by people. Passably to a point of suffocation. Then again I am involved. That could be key too who are you in the church and do they know you well enough to approach you?

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Andreia's story is sad on so many levels. It is a story of numerous people failing to lead and do what God has called all of us to do.

It reminds me of a comment in Esther made by Mordecai the gist was: if you will not do what God has called you to do, He will find another.

Andreia was the one who stepped up to the plate. My question is I wonder how many people dropped that ball before she grabbed that gauntlet? Thank goodess she did and I hope it wasn't too late.

Historians have looked many times at the battle of Waterloo. They have also looked at Napolean's notes concerning the battle. His plan was brilliant and most agree that he should have easily won. If only His commanding officers would have followed his plan.

Each one of them felt that their positions were suspect. Two thirds of them retreated to what they thought was a surer ground. The shift in the battle lines opened glaring gaps that allowed Napolean's armys to by mercilessly picked apart. It is said that Napolean wanted to go out on the battle front an personally kill his commanding officers, for their arogance, betrayal and ultimate stupidity.

We too are like those commanding officers, God has given us a flawless plan, yet our pride, and insecurities drive us to trust ourselves rather than God.

Ultimately there is only 1 leader in a church. But I believe that God distributes tasks of leadership to all of his followers.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

I'm sure that in my church I would have been surrounded by people. Passably to a point of suffocation. Then again I am involved.

LOL!!

Go Milly.

---

I agree again with both of you, Milly and DugALug, but my point was not that one lady, or that one situation.

In my current job, I took on a position that had never existed, and 15 people were assigned to me to do a job that had never been done before by anyone. We were all lost as balls in high weeds.

The first thing I did was break those 15 people down to 3 groups of 5, and establish a contact with each of the groups. Jane can keep up with what 4 people are doing, but not with what 14 people are doing. (That is 10 verses 91 communication channels - a ninefold reduction)

The issue is responsibility. Plausible deniability, really. If Jane should have called John when she had things going on with 14 other people, she can claim to have missed the call. With only 4 other people, though, the problem is trivial. She needs to be able to keep up with 4 people. If I need to be able to hold her responsible for her communications, then I need to make them manageable for her.

In our church of 200 leaders, there are a maximum of 19,900 possible communication channels. When "Joe" bears his heart, who is responsible to be sure Joe gets attention throughout the week? Everyone can claim to have been innundated under communications from the other 19,899 channels (well, all the math geeks can)

In our church of 1 Leader, who is responsible to make sure Joe gets that call? Well, at least the responsibility is easy to trace on that one. I don't know who is going to hang the bell on that cat, but it's a brilliant idea. Of course, God has delegated His responsibility, and expects us to accept and strive toward meeting it.

I believe a leadership structure is necessary, and that our current structure is concentrating responsibility in a self-defeating way.

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Is the question as to whether a church should have a heirarchy? My answer is yes. There is undoubtedly a structure to assure that things run smoothly.

Jesus even aluded to this with Peter when He told him to feed his sheep. The idea of the pastor/shepherd is an excellent parallel.

It would be impossible for the head of a church to know the needs/problems of all 200 (in your case) patrons. Breaking down this group into subsection... aka cell groups is healthy and biblical. Using the heads of these cells as filters for the staff assures that the most important needs are adressed and don't slip through the cracks.

It is like our lungs. Most of the time they functions without any real feedback from us. But if something happens, the lungs send messages to the brain to tell it that they are in need of more oxygen... our body's response may be as simple as yawning, but it also may do other things to make sure that its needs are met.

Cell groups require some commitment on the body's part, but it pays off in the fact that stories like Andreia's are far less likely to happen. If that couple in in a care group, the ties made in the circle will come to her aid, and if necessary, the leader will bring this to the overseer of care-groups who may end up taking it to the marriage and family pastor who may end up taking it to the head pastor.

What this does require is education and commitment of laypeople to the purpose of a function community of believers: much like what is found in the book of Acts.

God Bless
Doug

Milly said...

We have tried the breaking it down. With a church of almost 700 and elders and shepherds coming and going it is very difficult. My husband and I were asked to help a shepherd with his group. The groups were divided according to location, so as to give you a neighborhood feeling. We gave it a lot of prayer and agreed. The shepherd never was able to follow through because someone dropped the ball.

Now for the tough talk. I honestly believe that the pew sitters have a right to be pew sitters. They have every right to come in and sit not getting to know anyone. I was one myself, I began to talk to the other pew sitters around me and we became close. (We sat there because that’s the place to not be bothered) You reap what you sow. I am not saying that Andrea’s example was like that but so many are. In order to have people notice you notice them.

I have also heard some complain that the minister didn’t come to the hospital, funeral, wedding and so an. He is married and has two kids, not to mention speaking engagements, meetings, lunches with other groups etc... One man can’t be at everything. We have almost 700 people. That’s a lot of stuff to deal with.

Bottom line you have to find your spot your talent. My sister is a great teacher, I’ve lead a woman’s class, work sound, my husband leads the maintenance ministry, and so on. If your spot is sitting in the pew and talking to an elderly couple every Sunday then great, that’s needed too. Just know that you reap what you sew. If you don’t know them they won’t know you.

codepoke said...

DugALug,

Will you be surprised when I say I am against hierarchy, too. :-)

codepoke said...

Milly,

More details on the neighborhood attempt would be of great interest to me. Thanks for mentioning it.

Pew sitters are a problem for me. I always forget they exist, but for the opposite reason as most. I was a pew sitter who desparately wanted to be involved in something meaningful, but didn't know how to start. I always assume that the pew sitter is frustrated with their lot in life, so I always treat them that way.

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Will you be surprised when I say I am against hierarchy, too.

Not in the least, but I think I can make a pretty great case that it is very biblical. I would also question this statement since you identify yourself as a leader: you must believe in some form of heirarchy... even if it is a heirarchy of one.

Granted, they invite corruption, and are slow to respond to the move of the Holy Spirit, but if done with thought, love, and with trustworthy folks, they are quite palletable. Yummy even! ;)

God Bless
Doug

Milly said...

From what I can gather from the past attempts. I think that it’s a very good idea BTW. We divided people according to addresses. So those who live around you are in your group. We have tried this twice. Once we were to all gathered together in our address groups. Easier for a smaller church. This way we could also meet each other. When they needed food taken for a funeral or brought for someone who was ill you were called and asked so you were taking care of you neighbor so to speak. (You are loving this aren’t ya Cowboy? Milly smiles at the thought of you now brain storming)

I ‘m not sure why it stopped. It could be that it wasn’t kept well. Every garden needs a gardener. (Millyism for the book)

The shepherd was the same premises as the other. You are assigned to a group of people to care for in you area. You’ll call them about once a month and keep an eye on prayer requests. We were to be the callers then if we felt that someone was in need we could call our assigned shepherd so that he could help. We knew that this would be a dedication on our part. That’s a huge issue in volunteer work some don’t grasp how hard and the amount of time it takes. It wasn’t going to be just calling as he said and we knew it. People who reach out for you need you they don’t just need a phone call then a pass off. They would want to see us. It could be time consuming if you had someone who needed you. I cared for a dying neighbor by picking up her mail from her mail box and taking it to he door. My husband helped her with yard work. My responsibilities to her grew as she became worse. People need to know that with leadership comes responsibilities. I couldn’t just direct the LTC drama I ended up writhing it, making props, and caring for the young people. They were in my charge. That’s the reality of it.

As for pew sitters there are various reasons for them. They may need to get acclimated, a new church, new people, and so on. They could be coming from a bad experience in the last church. They might be shy. No one asked so they don’t. They signed up no one called. And so on. I was a pew sitter but I can’t keep my mouth shut and my son was so darn sweet that he wasn’t unnoticed. God got me off the pew when the time came as He did you.

I'm sure that I could ramble on but the kids are making me crazy. I should feed them.

Fellow ex-pew sitter,
Milly

codepoke said...

DugALug,

I would also question this statement since you identify yourself as a leader

:-)

Brother, I was identified at work as a leader - there is a difference.

Nobody has ever identified me in the church as a leader. A pain in numerous parts of the anatomy, but never a leader in the church.

if done with thought, love, and with trustworthy folks, they are quite palletable. Yummy even! ;)

Ah, but what done by spiritual people is not yummy?

We can do better than emulating the McDonald's franchise scheme.

Some day, some time, I am going to have time to post the next in the series!

codepoke said...

You are loving this aren’t ya Cowboy? Milly smiles at the thought of you now brain storming

So VERY right, Milly. :-D

Every garden needs a gardener. (Millyism for the book)

Hmmm. You may need to remind me if the day ever comes. :-) Your mysterious powers over Oprah aside, I have a terrible memory for things that go in books.

I couldn’t just direct the LTC drama I ended up writhing it, making props, and caring for the young people. They were in my charge. That’s the reality of it.

A doff of the cap to the Millster!

Amen, sister.

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

We can do better than emulating the McDonald's franchise scheme.

Would Ronnald McDonald be considered the pope of that organization? I am just wondering. How about the Hamburglar?

Out of curiosity, when it comes to Christianity, do you submit yourself to any earthly authority? I know am 'poking' this point a little, but I want to see where this goes.

Would you say that you submit to the teachings of Calvin, Wessley or Luther? How about Paul, John, or Luke?

If you answer 'yes' to any of this, then you have acknowledged that there is a heirarchy. It comes down to the 'First among equals' principal.

Going back to what you have inferred in your last 4-part series, I am guessing that the heirarchy failed miserably in your past church.

Here is the truth: everything man puts his hand to is, by definition corrupt. Organizations and their participants are trapped by the fact that humans designed them. Now that this is out of the way, can you build a church that avoids puting a single man at the top?

Our church, for instance, has a government comprised of a group of elders, of which the head pastor is one of the Elders. It really does work and it works well.

Our previous pastor stepped down unexpectedly and left our church in a matter of 4 days. The church continued to function, if not thrive for the next 4 months while we searched for a replacement. This is simply amazing to me.

Still in saying all of this, my trust is not in men, it is in God and he doesn't disapoint. I too am wary of any 'heirarchy' especially Christian ones.

God Bless
Doug

Milly said...

Andreia was the one who stepped up to the plate. My question is I wonder how many people dropped that ball before she grabbed that gauntlet? Thank goodness she did and I hope it wasn't too late.

Perhaps God gave Andreia the ball for a reason.

Here is the voice of the Milly **Several years ago I was in a class that was for women who’s husbands didn’t attend church with them (Most churches need this for spouses I took over leading at one point) We lead the class very informally if we needed to address a need of one of the ladies we did. So we laughed, cried, prayed, and learned. We cared about and for each other. One of the ladies was going through a break up. It was hard for her. It’s hard enough to think of him seeing someone else but to find that it was a man was devastating. One morning while talking a lady that was a friend to her said that she had been so upset about the fact that no one had spoken to her she hadn’t heard from us. I was more than shocked because these women weren’t like that. I had called several times, written notes and invited her to meet me somewhere so that our children could play. Other women were stunned as well because they to had done the same thing. Was it that no one had or was she expecting someone else?

We sometimes put too high of expectations on those around us. When we are in pain we can’t see what’s in front of us. I’ve done it. I was crying in a class one Wednesday night, as I always did on Wednesday nights, my mom would have call me by then so the pain of not hearing her voice, So I was crying as usual, a shepherd asked if he could help. I said no thank you and left. He follow and pressed for information. He then told me that I needed to move on. I still can’t believe it. Is it my pain that angered me. Yes. I wanted him to be kinder. He isn’t that kind of man. He isn’t a shepherd any longer. Point is that God sends who we need. We need to learn to focus on them not the move on folks.

codepoke said...

DugALug,

Would you say that you submit to the teachings of Calvin, Wessley or Luther? How about Paul, John, or Luke?

Hmmm. Submit to teachings? I submit to Truth.

Let me try this approach.

In a family you have a child, father, and grandfather. The father has authority over the child, and the grandfather has authority over both the father and child.

I believe in authority and submission.

Point 1: In a hierarchy the child cannot approach the grandfather. The child must go through the father to get to the grandfather. That is called chain of command, and breaking it is punishable by something.

Point 2: In a complex hierarchy, you cannot go to someone else's grandfather. Only your own has authority over you. My uncles and great uncles would be greatly removed from me in a hierarchy. It is helpful to think of a tribe in this regard, rather than a simple extended family. And there is reason to believe that the church should be tribal in nature, rather than corporational.

Point 3: Hierarchy may be more masculine than roundedly human. No hard data on this, just an impression that I have to throw out.

Andreia said...

God bless you CodePoke for Point 3!

I hope I get another second today after last day of school stuff to comment more!

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Alright, I see where you are going with this. Again we are talking about a definition of terms. Your points are really great for a rigid, miltary-esque hierarchy. To me, that even that comes down to who do you think is on top? If God is on top, then much of the chains of command are parallel.

Paul never shied away from using military parallels in his analogies. Jesus, himself, lauded the centurian for his faith and his understanding and aplication of authority.

To me, the word 'submit' and 'authority' imply heirarchy. You can call it a tribe or a military regiment, (or a McDonald's franchise for that matter). In the end, someone is placed as an authority above others and is given a unique set of responsibilities. You might squirm at this, but someone, or some body of someones, ultimately represent your 'tribe' when it comes to matters of money, time, and resource distribution.

Even in a tribe there is a cheif, so again, I think that any organization that distributes responsibility has an inherent hierarchy.

The textbook definition of hierarchy is A body of persons having authority

I like this definition because of the use of the word 'body'. This is one of the principals we used in reshaping our church's goverment: we recognize God as our head and we use a body of elders to better hear what God (our head) is saying to us.

All of this to say that you are right, that it all comes down to submission and authority no matter what it is called.

God Bless
Doug

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Point 3: Hierarchy may be more masculine than roundedly human. No hard data on this, just an impression that I have to throw out.

I don't about your house growing up, but in our house, the rule was if my mom wasn't happy then no one was. So much for the 'masculinty' of hierarchy... rofl.

God Bless
Doug

Maeghan said...

6 fully loaded questions ;)

Which of these battle fronts is most important?
Those who are losing their faith and trust in God. There are problems that strengthen souls but when a soul has lost its bearings, it is most important to lead them back.

Which of these battle fronts does a seminary education prepare a man to handle well?
At least over here the seminaries cover the spiritual, theological and doctrinal. I am not too sure about the others.

What training method would best prepare a leader to handle all of these things?
Being involved in training in my course of work, most of the time method remains a method. What works is the heart: a heart first for God and then for the people.

What training method would best teach a leader when not to react?
This is hard to say. I won't say that a training method would achieve it. I believe a close relationship with God in prayer and his Word would set a good foundation in having the wisdom when to act and when not to.


How can you know a leader?
Cool but firm.
Firm but loving.
Loving but right.

How many leaders does our church of 200 need?
If we are talking about pastors, I think 1:40 would be a good ratio. For lay-leaders, it would depend on the ministries but I think as a rule of thumb, an effective leader should have about not more than 10-12 under his wings.

Milly said...

I grew up in a matriarch as I’ll bet most families with Southern women did. Don’t mess with the women. “Yes dear” is something my husband learned very quickly. He’s from Pennsylvania. North vs South stay Low honey! Duck and weave!

Andreia said...

okay 10 minutes until the next event.

I hope no one thinks it heretical but John Maxwell has excellent leadership training and for what it is worth I would recommend his books to anyone who wants to study leadership.

The thing that has always bothered me about the church I grew up in is that there is no prescribed training for those that would be leaders. It seems against the wisdom of God to throw men, as it were, into the pit without some real-life practical training. Prov 3:5 comes to mind as well as 9:9.

Running out the door now...

codepoke said...

DugALug,

I think your textbook definition of hierarchy is pretty insubstantial. I would offer up Wikipedia's

A hierarchy (in Greek: Ιεραρχία, it is derived from ιερός-hieros, sacred, and άρχω-arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element.

Hierarchy = rigid. I agree, but I go further to say, rigid = bad. Firm = good, but rigid = bad.

So, what makes you able to know firm from rigid? Get really old, and make some mistakes along the way by being too firm and too rigid. If you get there, and your heart is still hospitable, then I think you should judge in the church.

About submission and authority: I would be remiss if I did not admit right up front that while I believe in submission and authority there's probably a whole can of worms separating my definition of those words from yours.

Either way, "submit" and "command" do not imply hierarchy in accord with the Wikipedia definition. Even after the divorce, my children submit to me and to my wife. Hierarchy is broken.

My ex commands and I command, and we are both obeyed.

In a hierarchy, a (still married) husband should only issue orders to his wife, and she should forward them to the children. The degree to which a church or family attempts to implement such a plan is the degree to which love is broken.

codepoke said...

Maeghan,

I like all your answers. Thank you.

How can you know a leader?
Cool but firm.
Firm but loving.
Loving but right.


Very nice. I like that a lot.

How many leaders does our church of 200 need?
If we are talking about pastors, I think 1:40 would be a good ratio. For lay-leaders, it would depend on the ministries but I think as a rule of thumb, an effective leader should have about not more than 10-12 under his wings.


I agree. I appreciate that you answered the question directly, too. I think your numbers make a lot of sense.

codepoke said...

Milly,

North vs South stay Low honey! Duck and weave!

I would never have believed this still mattered, except I lived in the South for 10 years. WOW does it still matter!

codepoke said...

Andreia,

Your suggestion makes me think.

I am advocating old people be the church leadership. You suggest that leaders be trained. I am implying that life will train them better than leadership training - that a 60 year old man without training is a better leader than a 30 year old man with it.

I have taken training like Mr. Maxwell's (and while I don't know him, you'll get no stones thrown by me over the concept!) and it was VERY helpful to me. It's thanks to that training that I am able cultivate friendships now. In my first bid to be a church leader all I won was the command that I read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie - wait for it --- twice.

No kidding.

I was commanded to read it twice, and not even think about it again until I was living that stuff out. Two or three more courses later, and people don't run when I approach them any more. It's a good thing.

So, I am for the idea. I would like to see men taking these kinds of courses and reading these kinds of books when they are young. Then when they are old, they won't be experimenting.

Does that work for you?

Milly said...

Codepoke,

I would never have believed this still mattered, except I lived in the South for 10 years. WOW does it still matter!


He loves get’n um riled up. It’s an odd game. Then again he didn’t grow up with them. He and my mom loved sparring. She once said after being at Gettysburg “We almost won” He very flatly said “But you didn’t did you?” That set the little woman off. My grandmother was from a wealthy Tennessee up bringing. So the Southern was the more proper one. The rebel that I am.
;-}.I married a Yankee Catholic.

Andreia said...

Okay. We agree. I still prefer a 60 year old man WITH training.

I used to think that by virtue of advanced age, someone has achieved wisdom. Is it more likely? Sure, Ill give you that one. But I have known elderly folks who are either unable or unwilling to empathize or connect with the younger people in the congregation. Im thinking that Im sounding like a broken record.

I dont think leadership is about issuing orders and hierarchies. It is about creating a vision for people beyond what they can see now. Jesus was the perfect example. When the seas were storming he saw something else.

Likewise, when a couple is in the midst of marital problems leaders can see through the fog. Good leaders can draw a clear picture of the benefits of bending to the will of the other spouse and/or the consequences for not.

Good leaders have empathy for people where they are at the moment. Again, I think of Jesus with the woman at the well. Sometimes I think we pick church leaders who have a lot of head knowledge (and business savvy, although why, I dont understand) and we miss this critical heart element of leadership.

Leadership to me is about service. Are you willing to empathize, nuture and encourage those around you in a manner like Christ? Jesus never asked his disciples to do anything he was unwilling to do, even baptism. I think that serves as an excellent lesson in servant-leadership and when we apply that model to the structure of the church (committees, elders and the like), it takes on a completely different look.

DugALug said...

Codepoke,

Man I can ruffle feathers!

I'm sorry I only took the top definition for hierarchy from www.Dictionary.com: I didn't consult the far more respectable wikipedia. (I wonder if my chuckle is audible in my writing).


To be fair here is the complete definition:

Hierarcy Def

A body of persons having authority.

Categorization of a group of people according to ability or status. The group so categorized.

A series in which each element is graded or ranked: put honesty first in her hierarchy of values.

A body of clergy organized into successive ranks or grades with each level subordinate to the one above.

Religious rule by a group of ranked clergy.

One of the divisions of angels.


I went to the Mariam-webster dictionary and it had an almost identical set of definitions.

I went to the wiki, and here was the quote two paragraphs down from what you cited:

A hierarchy can link entities either directly or indirectly, and either vertically or horizontally. The only direct links in a hierarchy are to one's immediate superior, or to one of one's subordinates. However, indirect links can extend "vertically" upwards or downwards via multiple links in the same direction. All parts of the hierarchy which are not vertically linked to one another can nevertheless be "horizontally" linked by travelling up the hierarchy to find a common direct or indirect superior, and then down again. This is akin to two co-workers, neither of whom is the other's boss, but both of whose chains of command will eventually meet.

This sounds a lot more reasonable and in line with a more globally respected source, like Webster.

Allow me to put in Doug-Speek and apply to christian leadership: God is on top and there are parallel chains of command streaming from him. Something similar is also quoted in this wiki too.

Either way, "submit" and "command" do not imply hierarchy in accord with the Wikipedia definition. Even after the divorce, my children submit to me and to my wife. Hierarchy is broken.

I beg to differ, as once again quoted in the wiki you sited.

Many human organizations, such as businesses, churches, armies and political movements are hierarchical organizations, at least officially; commonly superiors, called "bosses", have more power than their subordinates. Thus the relationship defining this hierarchy is "commands" or "has power over". (Some analysts question whether power "really" works as the traditional organizational chart indicates, however.) See also chain of command.

I would be remiss (aka plagarizing) not to add the link: Wiki Heirarchy

My ex commands and I command, and we are both obeyed.

This too is consistant with my definition of the word. Exodus 20 does not say 'children obey your mom". This implies that children are subordinate to both parents. There is a further implication here: that parents should answer to God. I know this isn't exactly the case with your ex, but to your children, it may as well be.

Hierarchy=Rigid; Rigid=Bad

This is just bogus on both parts. God is rigid, unshakeable, and never-changing. Can I imply from your statement that He is 'bad' too?

Hierarcy is 'structured' not necesarily 'rigid'. As a coder, you probably experienced the difference between structured and rigidity:

C/C++ Code is structured.

COBOL is rigid.

In this case rigid is bad.(I chuckle).

Again, your earlier points are fine if you only see a hierarchy as a rigid formation, like a pyramid.

I also really like your thoughts comparing Rigidity and Firmness: they are really eloquent.

Comments concerning elderly ruling/leading.

There is no replacement for wisdom and hands-on experience. The Bible is clear that gray hair is an 'earned' crown, and as such, should be garnered with respect.

While I am a proponent of teaching, training, and instruction. There is little to compare with hands-on, hard-knocks, and reality.

I remember taking a class on witnessing. It all sounded great and easy in class, but when we went out and actually witnessed... oh boy! What a difference! Over time it gets easier. All training really did was give you a nice set of tools, where with experience, we learned to use them properly.

Still, there are times when age may not be the appropriate leader. If a church had an outreach to surfers, it will be hard for an un-churched teen from Daytona to relate to a 70 year-old blue-head from Akron.

Sometimes leadership is thrust upon us, whether we want it or not.

Also concerning hierarchy. Many pastors at our church have sat and entered worship with me as a worship leader (thankfully the Word says make a 'joyful noise', and doesn't say 'sing well'), only for me to turn around and sit and glean from their wisdom concerning a message. The leadership of a church is based on skill-sets.

I hope this makes sense.

God Bless
Doug

codepoke said...

DugALug,

LOL! Great comment. I laughed and agreed the whole way through. :-)

The looser the definition of hierarchy, the more I agree with it, and the more I agree with you. As you loosened my definition, and forced me to acknowledge your loosening as accurate, I agreed with more and more of your statements.

Please read all my previous comments as saying "rigid hierarchy" wherever I say "hierarchy."

I have to take special note of the fact that you and Andreia both agree with me that a trained senior is the best leader. It's almost like agreeing with each other. ;-D

jk

codepoke said...

Milly,

Gettysburg “We almost won” He very flatly said “But you didn’t did you?” That set the little woman off.

Oh yeah. I can WAY see that whole scene going down. I bet he used a food tester for a little while.

Andreia said...

Wait a second! Did someone say I agree about something?? How did that happen?

DugALug said...

Wait a second! Did someone say I agree about something?? How did that happen?

Are the planet's aligning, rumors of war, natural disasters and tribulations occuring?

Look to the East, my friends, for our salvation draweth near!

~(8(|)

Doh!

God Bless
-Doug