The following are six suggestions for leadership that I recently shared with a group of church leaders. These six have helped me greatly. If you are in any leadership role, these can be helpful. (I am indebted to Edwin Friedman, Peter Scazzero, and Ruth Haley Barton for some of the seed thoughts in these statements.)
- The best thing you bring to a congregation’s leadership and life is your own transforming self. (Ruth Haley Barton)
- Mature leadership begins with the leader’s capacity and willingness to take seriously one’s own emotional behavior. How the leader deals with his emotional behavior is a reflection of his own spirituality.
- Differentiation in a leader means that this leader functions as a less anxious presence in the face of anxious people. He/she is able to take a stand in an intense emotional system.
- Generally speaking, followers will not rise above the emotional maturity level of their leaders. A leader may be highly intelligent and highly skilled. The congregation (as well as one’s own family) is impacted by the emotional behavior of that leader. This is a rich opportunity to live out one’s own spiritual transformation.
- Ministry which creates a constant state of frenzied activity for the congregation through the maintenance of our ministry systems and our programs can be a real detriment to our life with God, our marriages, and the health of the congregation.
- As an elder/minister I am not simply in a ministry to “do things for God.” Rather, as a human, I am worthy of rest, care, and good relationships.