Fit for Mission - Solution 2 - creating larger leadership teams

First published on: 26th November 2021

A fortnight ago we launched the next step of our consultation around Fit For Mission2 setting out six proposed solutions to the challenges and obstacles we face. Last week we explained our first solution – developing a discipleship culture – and talked about Cultivate, one way this can come about.

This week we move to our second solution and talk about creating larger leadership teams. This solution is all about creating teams of lay and ordained people working together in their local area discerning and developing local solutions to the particular challenges they face.

All about leadership

Great leaders inspire. They challenge, provoke and help us shape new ways of thinking. They motivate others to join them on a journey of change and encourage others to work together. In every field of life we can call to mind examples of great leaders who have changed the world. They exist in politics, sport and business. They exist in the church.

Every Christian follows the great inspirational leader of Jesus. So if Jesus is to be our model then we can see how he created a leadership team of disciples – the laypeople of their day. He taught, inspired, challenged and sent them out to work for the mission of God. It was a clear leadership team and in turn – and we can see this in the development of the early church –the disciples inspired other leaders to establish local churches throughout the emerging world.

Jesus also showed us the joy and frustration of team working as we see the examples of when the disciples didn’t get it and needed steering in a clear direction. Yet we also see how the disciples pulled together to make sure the good news was spread throughout Galilee and beyond.

So leadership matters and leadership teams are important.

Building leadership teams

One of the lessons our diocese is learning as we continue of our long journey of obedience to growth and mission is that leadership teams are vital. We hear the stories of clergy, wardens, readers and other parish leaders feeling stressed and isolated as they try to singly shoulder the burden of leadership. We hear of the stress placed on an individual faced with tackling a project they don’t feel they have the skills for, the guilt of not being able to do everything. We know that no one has all the skills and abilities to do everything. We all know of the overburdened individual taking on one more thing out of the fear that if not them then nothing.

So we continue to try to show how working together is better for all

Again the early church recognised that. Acts 6 shows the formation of a large leadership team with different people bringing in different skills to carry out different roles. Yet all working together for the mission of God. And we know we all form the body of the church with the Holy Spirit giving us different gifts and roles to make up the whole. That shows that team working making a difference makes sense.

Not long after Bishop Paul started in our diocese he looked at leadership and changed the way we work. He came to a model which relied on a small group of senior clergy. We created a model which combines senior clergy, Directors from St James House and other representatives all supporting each other in the leadership of our diocese. Added to this the work of Synod, Finance Committee and Bishop’s Council and we have a model of a larger leadership team working to promote and deliver our vision of asking God for a bigger church to make a bigger difference with more people knowing Jesus and more justice in the world.

This is not a model used elsewhere in the Church of England as such. It is a Diocese of Liverpool solution for the way we want to work together to be fit for mission.

Creating larger local leadership teams

We believe in this model and believe that this can really work to make a difference locally. We have seen from our experience that this works best with local leaders. It is through them we find creative solutions to the local challenge. Resources to support mission can be used more effectively. It is this model which has led to deaneries getting more say in how the parish share is collected and local posts deployed.

Teams provide support. They bring energy, help work through issues and prevent any of us feeling we have to face all the challenges of being a missional church on our own. That’s why this is the second solution to help us become fit for mission and why we will invest in coaching and support to create larger leadership teams.

Find out more

We are developing our webpages www.liverpool.anglican.org/fitformission where you can find more about our plans and how they will develop.

Let's work together to get fit for mission. 

 

 

 


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