I’ve read most of the “stuff” on Church leadership and management. I completed an MBA a dozen years ago, and the church didn’t have a clue what do with a priest who could read a company financial statement and understand gearing (maybe that means something else in the church!) But what stuck with me was that “managers do things right, leaders do the right thing”. Leaders get the vision sorted and then hold the organisation to the vision. So I was interested to read Nick Baines blog on Leadership and Management. I follow it on Churches Together Connect.
Nick wrote ‘Leadership begins with a vision for which a strategy is then needed – but strategy without vision is meaningless. Poor management often sees the development of strategies without having first identified the vision that the strategies are meant to make happen. Of course, this has to do with giving permission to leaders(at any level) to fail’.
Interesting, when I had just read a letter from Abp Desmond Tutu, written to the Churches in Britain and Ireland way back in 1994. His letter was part of an Advent message and this is what he said:
‘Give grace a chance! You have come into a culture of success. That’s sad in many ways. It says the worst thing that can happen to a human being is to fail; that it doesn’t matter what you succeed in so long as you succeed. If you can’t pull yourself up by your bootstraps you are out. Compassion, gentleness, become almost swear words. “People must stand on their own feet” – yes, in a sense. But Christian faith says we are not made for independence but for INTER-dependence. And maybe what will come from the weak and not-so-successful is the reminder to you that Christianity is a faith of grace. Grace is a gift. It says you are subsidised by God. One of my favourite Christmas hymns is “O little town of Bethlehem” with that wonderful verse:
How silently, how silently
The wonderous gift is given.
There was no fanfare – so very much like how the despised, the unimportant, come into this world. So God gives. Can you learn to recieve, not just from us but from God.
At a time when Churches have laid an uncritical hand on the language of “added value” which takes little account of the value of relationship and dialogue, it is comforting to think of God’s subsidy of us all.
“Give grace a chance” is a line I will use again I know. At CTBI we have spend the last years taking chances. Creating a vision, taking difficult painful decisions, moving to new ways of working and now taking the risk of launching a new social networking platform. Taking a risk involves the real possibility of failure. Working the vision, and then working it again gives us a real hope of God’s subsidy. Were praying it does!
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