Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Missional Adaptive Leadership

I stayed up late last night re-reading a chapter out of Alan Hirsch's book the Forgotten Ways and today had 2 appointments canceled and ended up listening to a podcast by Alan Roxburgh. I was aware of God's Spirit teaching me about my role as a leader, in and through these two people.

Alan Hirsch was saying that leadership, particulalrly apostolic leadership, is taking on the role of midwife. Leaders help birth the dreams and visions of the spirit of God that is already present in the people of God. We as leaders do not create it rather we nurture the environment for it to be birthed and call it forth. Jesus was this way in his use of questions, stories, parables which always helped others dicover the turth for themselves as they pondered and searched the meaning of his midwifery teaching. Secondly Alan used the image of a farmer. "A good farmer creates conditions for the growth of healthy crops by tiling the soil, replenishing it with nutrients, removing weeds, scattering seeds and watering the field" (pg. 166).

Alan Roxburgh said, "If the Spirit of God is among the people of God... the role of leadership is not to come up with answers, proposals and programs... nor to command and control... rather leadership is about creating the table, cultivating the environments and calling into being the spaces where the people of God can begin to dream, imagine and expereiment together... which is a way of life."

I am learning that these thoughts are true especially if emerging missional church communities are to be sustainable. The Spirit of God is indeed among the people of God and sometimes leaders need to get out of the way to allow Him to birth amazing and miraculous dreams. After our worship gathering this week I had 2 people come up to me and say they had thoughts and visions of something God may be calling them to do in and thorugh our community. One was related to adopting children and the other was about dance. Lord may the soil be right for those seeds to grow!! Secondly we are trying to create space in worship for the community to design prayer opportunties and art, read poery, tell stories and ministries to be birthed. I think this is happening. The problem is I cannot control it or manage it or systematize it. Thanks be to God for that!! Why is there always a desire to control, manage and possess what is out of control, unamanagble and not mine to posess? I hope and pray that as a leader I will continue to create spaces and environments for new life and growth to be birthed and get out the way of the work the Spirit of God is doing among His people.


John said...

I too pray for this. It's had to know how much structure to give something, if any. I am seeing the practices work as the "trellis" you'd talked about. Hopefully these ways of living and following Jesus together will produce the fruits of leadership and true discipleship. We'll see, it's up to God!

Sarah Louise said...

Thank you for this BJ. I am ever grateful for your midwifery/farmer leadership (John, you, too!)