PIF Thoughts (in progress) #3
The stories of our faith remind us that God covenanted with a community; that we come before God as a community; that the sins, burdens and joys of any individual are borne by the whole community; and that the life-giving, liberating work of the Holy Spirit and the prophetic voice of the Wisdom of God come through the collective voice of the community.
Therefore, I choose to lead by facilitating the discernment of the community. This style is something of a “grassroots” style of leadership and consists of forming a worshipful space where all voices are included, where differences are valued and where the community may draw together around a common purpose to envision possibilities. The tasks of the leader are then to: listen, gather information, empower the group, and keep the group true to its mission. As the group begins to embody its vision, the leader both supervises and serves: setting appropriate boundaries, offering constructive criticism, gently honoring tradition, persistently supporting creativity.
While this style of leadership is a temperate and caring style, the leader must still be willing and able (when necessary) to stand up and give definite answers, share distinct opinions, or be directive in leadership. In such a leadership style, I believe it is vital to also lead by my own example: diligent self-care, active prayer life, enthusiastic response to God’s call, and willingness to get out of my comfort zone in order to meet challenges.
NOTE: I’m working on updating my Personal Information Form (or PIF), which is the standardized form that Presbyterian Church (USA) pastors fill out when they are looking for new ministry positions. As I do so, I am reading and writing a lot of things about the church, ministry, and myself. Since not all of these things will eventually wind up in the final version of my PIF, I thought I’d share some of it here. Thanks for letting me indulge.