Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lutheran leadership thoughts No. 1

Lutheran Leadership thoughts No 1....
prepared by Pastor Richard Schwedes

The Big Lutheran Leadership Question
What does it mean to be a leader in the Lutheran church?
What does it mean to be a leader anywhere who is Lutheran (and Christian)?

Whether we like it or not.
Most of us are leaders in some situation or another.
Each month I am intending to bring you some thoughts that may get you thinking and perhaps some resources that may help you in your journey as a leader. (and if you have anything to contribute you are welcome either by commenting or by emailing).

The dictionary suggests a leader is someone who guides and directs others and someone who is in front of others.

Reflect on:
Who are you guiding and directing and why?
Who should you be guiding and directing?

There are three further questions that come from this...
The first is something that we need to tackle in relation to where God has placed us, ie. the context.
If we are clear about who we are guiding, do we know to what we are guiding and directing people to? (and also do they understand where they are being guided and directed to?) This is something that constantly needs reviewing in our changing environment, changing roles and needs.
This question is very important....
It needs to be answered by ourselves and understood by those we are accountable to.
For a pastor that includes our church and parish council, senior pastor, your mentors, our church bodies, our congregations, other team members. For other leaders it maybe your bosses, your team, your mentors, your sponsors...
reflection time:
What are we guiding or directing people to?
Are others aware of this destination?

The second question is in relation to where are people now. It is important to understand where people are now. How can we direct or guide people if we have little understanding of where are we guiding people from? This includes helping people understand where they are in relation to where they are being guided to.
reflection time:
Where are people now?
What do you need to do to find out about this?

The third question is how do we go about leading people? Now this is where a Lutheran approach to life should significantly influence us. Ask yourself how does being Lutheran influence how you lead people, whether in the church or in any other role? How do the major Lutheran Christian concepts of grace, forgiveness, servanthood, guided by scripture, loving God and loving others, two kingdoms, being Christ's light, Jesus as head of the church, Jesus coming into people's lives where they are, being little Christ's, the Great Commission, priesthood of all believer and people being saint and sinner influence how we lead others?
reflection time: How does being a Christian who is Lutheran influence how we lead people either in the church or in our other roles? What are some the challenges that conflict with being Lutheran and how do we address these?

If you have any thoughts on the above why not put them in the comments section.

Please feel free to use these in council meetings, congregational settings and with people who are leaders both in the church and their community or looking to be leaders as discussion starters.

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