So, if building bridges across the chasm that currently lies between most churches and their communities is the most pressing issue for parishes, what is the second most pressing issue: leadership.
I don’t mean the leadership of the Senior Minister. I mean the leadership of the members, or what what one author calls, the extent to which a church is Leaderful!!
I am completely convinced that a church cannot rise above the amount of leadership it raises up, and that the Senior Minister and other staff can only provide a limited amount of leadership.
What that means is that one of the central limiting factors in churches is the degree to which leaders in the congregation are inspired, mentored, equipped, deployed and developed, resourced and given the gift of accountability.
I suspect there are hardly any churches that do this effectively, outside of youth groups – at least, that’s what NCLS says is our greatest weakness. I’m currently reading Building Leaders, by Aubrey Malphurs, which sets out in minute (and sometimes painful detail) a step-by-step process for doing this, precisely because I’m as guilty as anyone in this!
So, is there anywhere that’s doing this thing well. It’s not preaching that’s the difference between small / medium sized churches and large churches, it’s leaderful-ness.