How a melting iceberg helped St Helens leaders think about Fit For Mission

First published on: 27th January 2022

With local leadership key to Fit For Mission we are looking to explore how the deaneries involved in this are progressing. To start this we spoke to Chris Daniel, Area Dean in St Helens about what has led lay and clergy leaders to think they needed to change and that change was getting fit for mission.

Creating a model iceberg that gradually melted as the centrepiece of a key gathering of laity and clergy was instrumental in reinforcing to us that we needed to continue to work collaboratively.

This lightbulb moment came from a workshop where we used the concept created by John Kotter in his influential book ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’, to create our own visual representation about the need for change.

We recognised that we were already creating change and instinctively getting fit for mission, but we needed something more.

This process of creating our own iceberg model and watching it crack and drip with water as the session went on and the Lego figures begin to fall off was a dramatic way to encourage our deanery leaders to explore the difference that we could make as a deanery by working more closely together.

The development of Fit for Mission has come at a great time for us in St Helens and many of us are excited about its potential to help us achieve our mission.

We have been proactive about working collaboratively for some time and have seen the real benefits that this approach can bring.

For example, we’ve found that one of the strengths has been how we’re able to reflect diverse churchmanship. We’ve also discovered that joining together around a wide range of work can create a real melting pot for ideas. This has led to a wide range of more joined-up work from hosting a thank you meal for our wardens served by our clergy, to an embrace evening where all our churches celebrated together what they were contributing to their community through their church.

For me, the need for change across the Diocese is really clear. We can’t stand still if we want to achieve the wider vision set out in the four principles to introduce more people to Jesus, deepen discipleship, work for justice and develop our Christian leaders of the future.

Being enabled to share expertise and support both our laity and clergy to flourish and use their gifts is how I see Fit for Mission supporting us all to achieve our calling.

By trusting in God and each other, together we can be fit for mission

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