Karen Wilk posted an article here at The V3 Movement on Leadership assumptions. It’s a good read and I want to make three brief additions to her list, if I may.
1. We just need to find the right program.
Lead pastors will ask this question 100% of the time. It’s been engrained within our corporate Christian culture to figure out ways to mobilize as many volunteers as possible. Leadership has replaced discipleship and the under the method of ‘leadership development’, strategic mobilization is important (sometimes a necessity in large churches). The right program, implemented with the right strategy, is thought to be the key to right results.
Only problem, there’s no resurgence in discipleship and Christianity is disintegrating. So the leadership development model isn’t working and/or doing enough.
Solution? Well unfortunately the right program may indeed by the right course of action especially in highly consumeristic churches. If congregations have been taught to respond like sheep to the shepherd, then implementing good strategy and encountering congregations where they exist, may be the only option to begin the process of reinventing how mission looks in your community. It doesn’t mean you should stay in a place where you constantly search for the proverbial silver bullet du jour, but it does mean if you’re church is so deep in consumerism, getting them out will be a long arduous, and sometimes (dare I say), incremental endeavour.
2. More is better.
Do you think already busy people need more church things to do? Hardly. It may be true many (perhaps most) people live a particular rhythm in of life that’s not reflective of incarnational living, but adding more church activities doesn’t solve the problem. There’s a slew of inactive Christians defaulting to the allure of TV, Netflix, video games, etc., which isn’t so much bad as it is boring. We need to call people not into more, but excite them to go deeper with what they’re already connected to. If they’re connected into nothing, creating opportunities is your first step.
3. Hub-and-spoke leadership is effective for missional leadership.
As noted by Wilk, this merely placates the corporate model of leadership development, and does little to advocate for the priesthood of all believers. Not everyone will become a gifted evangelist, but all are called to evangelism and that will start to form once we abandon strategic ‘evangelism training’ and instead practice missional living in embodied practice instead.