5 thoughts on “Chapter 3 outline – Leaders Lead

  1. 1. Be sure readers understand who you have in mind when you talk about “experts,” “pastors,” and “congregational leaders,” and “church board members”–and how the categories do and don’t intersect. Let me know if you want details from me about spots where I get confused about who you have in mind.

    2. Here is one possible addition.
    1. A. Insecurity about their own capacity to lead

    3. In points I.A and I.B, I know what your “argument” is. Points I.C and I.D are not so clear. From whose perspective are you speaking? Are you simply describing, issuing warnings, calling people to action,…? Of course, your points might be clear to me once you start writing and I see more, but you might find it’s easier to write if you know what your case is.

    4. In II.A, are you saying a “church expert” focuses on content, and a “church servant” attends to process? Or something else? Also, could you clarify the connections between church experts/servants and Wikipedia administrators/BDs?

    5. In II.B, what is the relationship between a congregation’s board and its pastor–and how these three roles are carried out?

    6. II.B.2: Do ALL cong leaders need to be skilled small group facilitators? Is the small group the primary place where people are empowered for ministry? Are board members necessarily the ones to carry out this work–and in this venue–or does the board ensure the needed process (resources, structure, etc.) is inplace ?

    7. II.B.3: Again, are board members necessarily the people who serve as mentors? Or do they provide the process other people require to carry out this work?

    • 1) Yes, I’d like some of those examples. They do intersect at various points, but they are distinct. For instance, a church board members are congregational leaders, but not all congregational leaders are board members.

      2) Oooo – I like the insecurity bit. That should definitely be in that list.

      3) I.C & I.D are diagnostic points, a moment for us to step back and get the lay of the land (so to speak). I’m trying to set up the problem that needs solving. I think it will be clear once I start writing the text.

      4) I’m saying we think we can hire/elect experts who will give us the right/new/better content that will solve all of our problems. We expect this person to focus on “content.” Conversely, we should be hiring/electing folks who will understand that they are offering a service to the community by guarding the process so that the congregation and its members can focus on the particular content areas they know.

      I’m encouraging us to stop trying to find the “expert” and idolize them. All people have gifts for ministry, and congregational leaders are with us to help us see those gifts and to find ways to employ them.

      5) I suppose it depends on the tradition one is a part of. I will offer my understanding, which is heavily informed by the Reformed Tradition and the Presbyterian Church.

      6&7) I imagine it depends on the size of the church, but I can attest to the fact that the reason my elders feel ill equipped at first is because they’ve not been taught the basic mechanics of moderating a meeting and empowering a group of people. Very helpful questions though. I need to think more about these.

      • Hi, Landon!

        Sorry to take so long to respond. I’m not sure where the last week went, but it seems to have evaporated! Just a couple responses.

        1. Here are some points where I’m not sure who you are talking about.
        I. Does “congregational leader” mean “pastor”? Because that’s who you talk about in I.C., I suspect this usage means something else. Are you talking about lay leaders within a congregation? Outside consultants? Others?
        I.A. What do you mean by “local church expert”? Again, is this about the pastor or someone else?
        I.B. “Congregational leaders” are pastors? lay leaders? outside consultants? others?
        I.D. I’ve heard of situations where the pastor ascribes to some of these understandings, too.

        5. After you talk about pastor/board relations based on your own experience, could you give readers a few key questions that will help them think about their own situation? This might not be necessary, depending on how “Reformed/PCUSA” specific your discussion seems, but I thought I’d throw out the idea.

        That’s all for today! Have you started to write, or are you going to outline more of the book first? Looking forward to seeing what else you’ve been up to!

        — Beth

  2. I will certainly make sure that these terms are clearly understood in the text because I think it’s very important that they are clear.

    “Congregational leaders” = any one who is in an official position of leadership. I want this to serve as catchall term for pastors and board members

    “Local Church Expert” = usually the Pastor , but this can be anyone the congregation or its leaders blindly submit to and allow to do ministry in their stead. I’ve seen some elders be this for a congregation.

    When you speak of pastors buying into I.D., do you mean they buy into the board fulfilling these roles or themselves?

    Pastor/board relations = Press me on this more when this section is being written. I think it’ll be pretty clear, but we won’t know til then.

    My goal is to have the outline and several interviews doen by June 1, and then a VERY rough draft doen by July 1 (when I go to PCUSA General Assembly). I’m assuming that draft will contain the theoretical/thematic stuff, and then we can work on inserting examples/anecdotes to flesh it out.

    I’m glad you advised me to have a deadline of Nov 1 – life has exploded around here!

    • I think your terms seems clear. We’ll just want to keep an eye on these as the book unfolds–especially when you’re talking about things congregational leaders do in relation to the pastor, since the pastor is one of the leaders. I’m not worried, though.

      I.D. I meant pastors buy into these roles for themselves–that they themselves need to come up with all the ideas (common in Church Growth thinking–that the pastor is supposed to cast the vision, serve as the chief visionary, whatever the language) AND often (frighteningly so) that pastors are supposed to do all the work or at least be the primary recruiter.

      I’m glad to see you have a plan for your work. Much more likely that it will actually happen! 😉

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