We can learn something from the Occupy Wall Street movement taking place in North America. Wherever you sit on the spectrum (and in the very least I can safely say if you’re a Christian your response should never be, “go get a job”) there’s a lesson in leadership to be made.
All big churches of the Protestant variety are almost exclusively lead in a very managerial/CEO model of leadership. It’s not biblical, but it works to churn out a weekly show(s).
The model of leadership in these kinds of churches is almost exclusively top down: CEO, board, managers, customers. The opposite end of the church leadership spectrum is the completely decentralized house church that lacks any identifiable leadership. Somewhere left of center (or maybe right?) is the Anabaptist missional movement headed by the likes of Alan Hirsch and company.
Hirsch advocates an Ephesians 4 model coupled with the very Protestant tenant of the “priesthood of all believers” as the foundation to leadership. It’s a flat leadership structure yet does not forgo the necessity for leaders of leaders.
Then there’s Occupy Wall Street, a mish mash of advocacy, social change, homeless, students, beatniks, hobos, tree hugger groups, and whomever has a message to throw at “the man”.
OWS will fail in its current form because it lacks a unified purpose. In this case, the decentralization of the movement has lead to greater participation by otherwise fragmented groups, but stymies the overall effectiveness. No effect = no change.
It’s somewhat ironic but the fact OWS is so decentralized is its downfall. You can be too flat in leadership to the point your organization/movement lists powerless.
Here’s a good take from Christianity Today that starts weak but ends well.
I for one don’t think OWS will amount to anything. However, I do believe this is a catalyst for something better to come. In the very least, I hope the movement will launch a growing discontent in young people (and old) to become far more involved the civic and electoral process to in fact usher in real change.
But for anything more to happen we’re going to have to find a unified message/purpose. It’s not necessary a person that needs to step up, but a singular course of action, a vision perhaps, that will unite the so-called 99%.