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2021 Reflections

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I’ve developed a little end of year tradition of sharing some reflections and learnings from the past year. The person this is most helpful to me is probably me, but here they are in case others find them useful!

1/ Conversations don’t work unless someone is actually listening. I learned much more about staying curious, active listening and the art of asking better questions thanks to a Coaching Course from Innovista Ireland. In the words of Eugene Peterson, “Quit talking so much and learn silence.”

2/ Most people are simply trying their best. My dominant posture to others should be encouragement and kindness. My best hot-takes or nuggets advice probably aren’t needed.

3/ We might feel we’re being helpful to declare that a crisis will end soon, but it’s annoying to be told a few miles into a marathon that you’re nearly finished. It gives a false reality and actually diminishes hope. Progress is not an inevitable curve upward to the right. When things are hard and the end isn’t in sight, it’s better to just focus on the next step.

4/ “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9:6) God has broad shoulders.

5/ Writing and publishing have enabled me to amplify some of my thoughts this year. In many ways this has been really encouraging, and if I’m honest, even felt a little exciting and exhilarating at times. But conversely I’ve actually found myself now craving a quieter space for a season. To say less. To withdraw to do more deep work. That’s my current priority.

6/ My relationship with technology took a backward step last year during lockdowns, causing me to wonder if I own my phone or if my phone owns me. It now sleeps in a separate room than I do. No phone before breakfast is over. Silent mode on more. Do not disturb set. Turned upside down often.

7/ Linked to this, I’ve realised my attention span can be developed. We are the generation of Continuous Partial Attention and it is distracting us from deep work, meaningful awareness and even rest. Set the phone down and watch the movie. Stop multi-tasking and enjoy the game.

8/ I became more aware of my own physical weakness and tiredness this year, particularly in a busy summer and autumn season. Running-wise, I actually ran less but trained at a higher intensity in 2021. As a result I ran faster than ever, yet also spent more weeks on the side-lines. The balancing line is thin. There are parallels with life.

9/ I’m less excited by heroic individuals and more energised by committed and functioning teams. Being the heroic individual leads to the endless gauntlet of more. It’s good in the short-term but disastrous in the long-term. If you’re a leader, consider how you can involve others in simple tasks.

10/ At times this year I haven’t known what to do or what decision to take. When there wasn’t a perfect way-forward or a complete vision, sometimes it just helped to do something. Momentum is built through movement. It’s easier to steer a moving ship. You can always edit a bad page. Just do something.

11/ In a world of intoxicating self-centredness, the most refreshing and countercultural trait is that of humility. I can’t help but think I’ve taken myself far too seriously at times. There’s a need to hold some things more lightly and dial the intensity back. I want to relax and laugh more. Life is too short to not have fun.

12/ I’ve read some great books this year. Most helpful: “Plugged In” by Dan Strange. Most challenging: “Deeply Formed Life” by Rich Villodas. Most life-giving: “Beautiful Resistance” by Jon Tyson. Most enjoyable: “Burning in my Bones” by Winn Collier

13/ And my favourite quote this year: “It helps, now & then, to step back & take a long view. The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision. We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.”

Christmas – The Glory of the Story

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Have we missed the glory of the story? Have our ears grown numb to angels appearing, Joseph dreaming, the star gleaming and the Christmas meaning? Do we smile with fondness at the quaint little tale, as we focus on decorating, entertaining and pre-Christmas sales?

Many missed the glory of the story. With all eyes focused on Caesar’s census, few heads turned to see the Almighty’s arrival. There was no advertising campaign and little promotional build up. Bethlehem had no room and Herod had no clue.

Yet into the silence came not armies or trumpets, but a baby’s cry. The backdrop was a dirty feeding trough within a smelly shed. The audience were disreputable farmers, horoscope readers, a pregnant virgin and a bewildered bloke.

All this took place while earth slept. Few noticed or seemed to care. Yet his entrance signalled a change. Time swivels on him. People swear by him. History points to him.

Into time stepped the timeless one.
Earth’s newest creation was the Uncreated One.
The world’s youngest human was the Ageless One.
The God of Angel Armies became the weakest human.
The All Powerful One had yet to learn to walk and talk.

This paradox of humanity and divinity would reveal what God is like.
The one who spoke through prophets was now speaking through his son.

The King of heaven exchanged his throne for a cradle.
The Creator entered into his own creation.
The Author put himself on the page.
The Infinite became an infant.
The Giver became the gift.

A gift missed by the masses but seen by the lowly on the fringes.
A gift, not perfectly wrapped with a ribbon and bow, but one messy and helpless.
A gift with no return policy or gift receipt, but sent as the rescue package for a broken world.

The gift of a sin forgiver who perfectly fitted the gap between God and man.

Outsiders and foreigners rushed to the manger. One day, fishermen and freedom fighters would follow, while sinners and saints would sit at his feet.

He was called a king yet he didn’t sit on a throne.
He spoke of a kingdom yet he didn’t own any land.
He was followed in the street yet he stooped to wash feet.

All were welcomed. All were invited to become part of a Kingdom being established.

At Christmas we don’t just celebrate the past birth of a baby but we anticipate the future coming of a Saviour.

Today we stand looking back on his birth.
Today we gather to reflect on his life.
Today we too are invited to worship this King.

DEEP ROOTS OF RESILIENT DISCIPLES

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We are all being discipled. Whether we’re aware of it or not, each one of us is being formed and transformed; disciples of someone or something, either by accident or by intention.

The kingdom of self conditions us to think that the world is all about our needs, our desires and our rights. The kingdom of consumerism pushes us to own, to have and to spend, creating envy within us and the assumption that we need more stuff to be happy. The kingdom of digital technology turns us into people of the screen as we become more fixated on the next buzz of our phone over listening for the voice of God or the needs of others.

Every moment of every day we are constantly being discipled and it’s time for followers of Jesus to wake from our slumber. The impact of society’s discipleship is strong and so we need to be proactive not reactive by developing intentional and sustainable rhythms that shape us more than the dominant cultural narratives around us.

That’s why I have written a book, to help followers of Jesus reflect on the things that contribute most to spiritual formation and developing resilience in faith. It’s called ‘Deep Roots of Resilient Disciples’ and offers a bunch of principles and practices that contribute to a life of lasting life.

For the past 15 years I’ve served in a variety of ministry roles – discipling young people, equipping emerging leaders, teaching the bible and serving the local church. I’m passionate about intentional discipleship, kingdom leadership and pioneering mission where every follower of Jesus is equipped and mobilised to serve God in every avenue of culture.

But I’ve also watched too many of those I’ve walked with and served alongside drop out of church and walk away from Christian faith altogether. Teenagers and twenty-somethings who started well, only to turn from Jesus in response to crisis or challenge, disappointment or doubt, fatigue or failure. This has troubled me, but also caused me to consider what really helps to develop faith for the long-haul.

And so, this book explores some of the key aspects that help develop resilience as disciples. It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there may be others to add, but each of the eleven markers are seen in the life of Jesus Christ and offer postures and patterns for long-haul faith.

Some themes are personal, exploring the nature of apprenticeship to Jesus and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Some themes are corporate, addressing our relationship to the church and how we can contribute to building authentic Christian community.

Some issues are more hidden, exploring how we cultivate spiritual habits that will shape and sustain us. While there are more outward aspects touching on how we relate to and engage with the culture as followers of Jesus, how we share faith with others and how we become disciples who make disciples.

Some themes are weighty, such as understanding the cost of discipleship and exploring how we prepare for challenges that come our way. While aspects of the book are personal, as I share stories of discipleship in action and offer examples where suffering has produced fresh resilience in people’s faith.

Because there continue to be those who respond to Jesus call and face the erosion of cultural Christianity not with clenched fists but open hands; resilient disciples who develop a long-haul faith by building below the surface.

Deep Roots of Resilient Disciples offers a roadmap for this kind of intentional discipleship life. It will help you recover ancient paths in a modern world as you are taken on a journey through the life of Jesus through the lens of our contemporary culture. This book will enable you to discover key principles and practices that contribute to a life of lasting faith; one grounded in faithful discipleship but also pulsing with faith-fueled adventure.

And so, I want to invite you into this conversation and encourage you to order this book. It will be released on 30th June but is available now on pre-order here. This is a book that can be read alone or it’s a book that can be read with others, with questions at the end of each chapter to reflect on personally or discuss in groups. So please do order and read it, but also share it and use it as we seek to see resilient disciples formed in the words, the works and the way of Jesus.

It’s Sunday, but Friday’s Coming…

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This is an excerpt from a talk I gave here at Carnmoney Church to help reflect on the scene change from Palm Sunday to Good Friday…

A newspaper report in October 2020 suggested that Jurgen Klopp was the greatest Liverpool manager in a generation. It was the crest of a wave and things were so promising. But another report in the same newspaper less than 6 months later suggested Klopp’s job was under threat. That’s a pretty dramatic turnaround, but it’s hardly surprising because a crowd of fans can often be fickle.

I think back to being challenged about the direction of my life in the final session of a youth weekend when I was a teenager. I was determined to start living in a way that better honoured Jesus, even writing down a list of sins on a sheet of paper and nailed them to a little cross at the front. Things would be different now. My faith looked promising. Within two hours of getting home I was yelling at my parents because I didn’t want to help out with the dishes. Sometimes we can be fickle too!

I also remember attending a conference for Christian leaders almost a decade ago. I was captivated by the message shared from the stage by an incredibly dynamic speaker. With energy and passion, he encouraged us to embrace the full mountain range of the story of God. “It goes to great heights,” he told us, “because the gospel is an epic story.” Through his presentation, that speaker helped me to become more aware of God’s grace and I left that day more in awe of Jesus’s love. That speaker, however, is no longer following Jesus.

But we shouldn’t be shocked, because Christian leaders can be fickle too, and very sadly even those who speak loudly about Jesus can walk away from him. Promise can turn sour.

The events of Palm Sunday look so promising for Jesus and his followers. A crowd had gathered. They were waving branches in celebration, laying robes on the road before him and singing his name in adulation, describing him as king. On the outside it seems like such a positive story, yet we know it is just an early scene in a story full of dramatic twists and turns yet to come, as the crowds go from hailing Jesus as King one weekend to demanding his death the next weekend.

The sudden change from the cheering praise of Palm Sunday to the shouts of crucify him on Good Friday is yet another reminder of how a crowd can be changeable and fickle. We should be wary of taking our lead from the demands of a crowd. We need to be careful who we listen to in these days, who we rely on for truth and who we allow to influence us. Thankfully, in the midst of constant news cycles and social media bombardment we can trust completely in the reliability of God’s Word. In the uncertainties of tomorrow, rest in that today.

We may appreciate Jesus, admire Jesus and admit to believing in Jesus, but are we also willing to keep following him in doubt, disappointment and darkness? Even when prayers haven’t been answered the way we would like. Even when he calls us to remove some of our sinful attitudes or desires. Even when our faith brings with it criticism or hostility. Will we continue following then? Fickle fans flee but faithful followers stand firm.

Jesus knows full well what you are riding into in your life. He knows the hurt, the loneliness, the grief, the betrayal, the anger, the doubt, the despair, the exhaustion, the weariness, and the constant struggle. He knows all the madness. Your King lives and will triumph over every last bit of it. Trust him today.

LEADING TOGETHER IN THE NEXT SEASON

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I’ve written before here about the importance of sharing leadership and working with others. That was the vision, but how can we do this effectively, particularly in this disrupted season in the life of our churches? As we thinking about re-gathering and re-starting programmes in the weeks and months ahead, how can we work with others in a collaborative way?

I recently hosted a Digital Conversation with around a dozen church leaders to consider this and I tried to capture some of the main headlines that we’re coming out of the conversation. These were the key themes.

LEADING TOGETHER IN THIS SEASON
– It’s important to help everyone see the part they can play in serving and also encouraging those who are serving alongside them.

– Collective vision is important. It might better to place responsibility into the hands of teams rather than individuals. This requires a mindset of team-building where we act more as coordinators and consultants, rather than giving responsibility and stepping away.

– Among teams it is important to take a step back to reflect. This might be a good opportunity to reflect together about what we have been learning and what we want to return to before the pressure for dates, timelines and practical arrangements press in.

– Communication needs to be clear and consistent. Find ways of passing on vision both informally and corporately.

– There is also a need to develop vision from the ground up. How are we listening to everyone within our churches? Are only those in leadership roles consulted? There is a need for humility, honesty and communication rather than dictation.

– It is important to help people understand their role, to see where they fit and to grasp the bigger picture too. Where possible seek to meet key leaders one-to-one to listen to their ideas and also share vision.

– There is an opportunity to move out and resource smaller groups to do things beyond the building. Eg. Discipleship in the home, mission in the community.

– Recognise, Allow & Facilitate are important stages in preparing people for life after lockdown. We need to also prepare people for the pace we will move at in our churches.

– Do we start with existing ministries and look for best-fit volunteers or do we start with what volunteers we have and look for best-fit opportunities?

Welcome to Holland

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I recently came across an essay called ‘Welcome to Holland’ that really moved me. It was written by Emily Kingsley in 1987 to describe her experience of raising a child with a disability, and while it carries enough power in that context, I was also struck by its relevance in capturing some of the challenges of leading during the times we are in.

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks & make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes & says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!” you say. “What do you mean, Holland?” I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy. But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland & there you must stay. They haven’t taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, tulips and Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

Does it ever feel like you signed up for Italy but have ended up in Holland? If so, what now? Here are some short and practical suggestions about how we can lead in the new landscape we find ourselves in.

1/ Resist rebuilding before reflecting
Don’t move too quickly to celebration. Allow space for lament and for people to share their experiences. In a changing picture, take time to revisit previous goals or visions to help realign priorities.

2/ Frame a positive story
There’s a need for leaders to inspire others to see the positives rather than just what’s missing. People tend to focus on what is lost rather than what is gained. This requires a leader to offer hope and inspiration.

3/ “Don’t just do something, sit there.”
There are times to build and times to be still. In a changing landscape, leaders need to adopt steady, achievable, sustainable work-plans. De-prioritising non-essential activity will help build capacity for this. Time off is vital to replenish energy stores. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

4/ Rediscover the power of the phone call.
It’s so basic but we might miss it. We can get fancy with creative modes of connecting, but we also reminded of the power in personal conversation. One leader told me how calls one person on his walk each day. Even short calls can mean a lot.

5/ Pray
Does our praying match our activity? Dedicate yourself to praying afresh for your church. Create a rhythm of doing it and invite others into. Biblically and historically, the one non-negotiable, universal ingredient in times of spiritual renewal is regular rhythms of united, kingdom-centred prayer.

6/ Surprise people with thanks
Earlier this year my wife and I received a card from the Clerk of Session in our congregation to say thanks for how we had been serving. Later in the year we received a home-cooked meal delivered to our doorstep. Both were gratefully received and we felt remembered. Consider how to thank and encourage those who regularly and quietly serve in your church. Post someone a book as a surprise gift. Write a thank you note. Buy donuts!

7/ Develop a new initiative
Try something new. Consider one gap in the life and witness of your congregation and aim to do something practical to address it. Not lots of new things; rhythm is important; but something fresh can spark engagement. A congregational bible reading initiative to develop spiritual habits. A Zoom catch up after your online service to increase fellowship. Online Alpha to help those outside the church explore faith. Try something!

8/ Take a walk
Whether it’s breaking up the monotony of days at home with fresh air and stillness, or taking advantage of the permitted opportunity to exercise with one person from another household, get outside and take a walk. Breathe deeply. Pray for things you spot on the way. Invite someone who might appreciate conversation. Pray for them as you walk.

2020 Reflections

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I’ve developed a personal end of year tradition where I reflect on 10 lessons I’ve learned throughout the year. I thought about it giving it a miss this year… but then decided it’s been a time of stretching & learning like no other. So here they are, without a single reference to the C word…! 

1/ We need more than simple positivity that tritely looks for silver linings in everything or tries to proclaim it will all be better tomorrow. Sometimes it won’t. Life isn’t always an upward curve. People suffer. Learn lament.

2/ I’m convinced now more than ever that community trumps content. I’ve become far less interested in perfection and polish, and much more drawn in by personal connection.

3/ I genuinely think we need to shift how we engage with technology for the sake of our health – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. I made some adjustments this year but found it harder to restrict screen time in lockdown. Phone now off 1 hour each day & 1 day each week.

4/ I witnessed a whole variety of churches deal with uncertainty, wrestle with the best response for their context & use different methods to share wisdom and love. The church gets some stick but I’ve been blown away by the innovation and sharp response across the board in so many ways.

5/ Family life has been more demanding this year but also felt more rewarding. We took more walks together, read more books together and played more games this year as a family. It’s been important to consider what we can do rather than what we can’t do.

6/ Discipleship isn’t a download. A perfectly prepared meal on a screen might be more photogenic than what we can prepare, but it won’t nourish us in the same way food on our own table will. Create your own habits and rhythms. Don’t merely consume. Commit to community. There is no such thing as solo Christianity.

7/ When we find ourselves as the minority in a culture, we need to engage with it not as warriors but farmers. Tend your own field, prepare the soil, plant seed and tend to growth. Choose patient resilience.

8/ We always get to choose our response. Some go out of their way to encourage and some go out of their way to criticise. I know which one I want to be. (Credit to @Richard Houston

9/ More than ever, truth really matters, and that involves a personal responsibility to consider the truth of what we read and share. In a world packed full of information, there is a greater need for wisdom, including being prepared to be more suspicious of our own biases.

10/ All plans are written in pencil. Perhaps the greatest challenge is acknowledging that we aren’t in control. My personal prayer for 2021 is for a sharper mind and a softer heart. And to continue to remember that Jesus is still on his throne.

Leadership Matters

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Leaders matter and how they lead matters.
Leaders chart a course, set the tone, change the dynamic and shape people. The character of a leader is critical because everything they do flows from who they are. The capacity of a leader will either limit or liberate the people they lead. The culture a leader creates will shape their present environment and determine their lasting legacy. Leaders matter and how they lead matters.
But leadership is demanding, difficult and dangerous. Some avoid it, while others escape it or deface it. Some leaders stay safe and silent, refusing to step out from the shadows, convinced they have little to offer. Some leaders grow stale and stagnant, replicating the same methods and stuck on the hamster-wheel of past-glories. Some leaders can be damaging and divisive, either unaware of how their actions affect others or determined to advance their cause at any expense.
In this mix of innocence reluctance, mindless repetition and toxic practice, there is a critical need to equip and empower a generation of leaders who will chart an alternative course and lead a different way. In a me-first society, the way of Jesus is an altogether different way to lead. It sacrifices and serves rather than forces or dominates. It crouches down more than it climbs ladders. It is counter-cultural yet all-embracing; it requires courage yet offers safety; it pushes deep and reaches wide. Ultimately it invites, leads and accompanies people on the narrow path of faithfulness to Jesus and commitment to Christ.
Leadership matters and how we lead matters.

REST.

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rest

We live in a fast-paced and frantic society. Busyness is prioritised over breaks. Productivity is emphasised over peace. But right at the very start of time, a vital pattern was established and an important rhythm was set.

God rested.

Did you catch that?! After all his creating, God rested. Why did God rest after creating the world? Was he tired? Did he need to collapse into a heap of exhaustion, worn out from forming mountain peaks and painting the skies?

Rest is often viewed as something we do to recover from our busyness and work, however, God means rest to be so much more than that. He wasn’t weary from his creative efforts but was aware of the limitations of humanity and so, beginning in Genesis, we see a pattern built into the DNA of creation. This is the rhythm of life as God intended and is woven into the fabric of the world.

Rather than simply recharging our batteries so that we can tackle the week ahead, rest can radically change how we view our lives. Sabbath is more than just a day, but is a way of being in the world. We rest, not simply to recover from our work, but to remember God. This enables us to live from a place of resting and abiding in God, rather than activity and productivity.

Earlier this year I really enjoyed reading John Mark Comer’s book, ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’. It felt a timely read for me. In it, he describes the differences between restfulness and relentlessness. Perhaps these categories might be helpful in determining which we are more regularly operating from.

RESTFULNESS RELENTLESSNESS
Margin
Slowness
Quiet
Time alone
Enjoyment
Delight
Gratitude
Clarity
Trust
Peace
Busyness
Hurry
Noise
Crowds
Distraction
Envy
Greed
Confusion
Worry
Anxiety

Shared Leadership

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lead

Article initially posted here

Several years ago, while studying at Irish Bible Institute, I wrote a reflection on leadership as part of my Master’s dissertation. In it I described my belief that shared leadership can often be slow to change, absent of vision, weak in decision making and abdicate responsibility. I am now convinced that I was entirely wrong and have since come to believe exactly the opposite.

As I reflect, I realise that in my twenties I was drawn to more driven and dynamic models of leadership. It was my assumption that the strong leaders were those who developed the boldest vision and communicated clear change. I thought a leader’s job was to convince and cajole others to get on board with the things they wanted to achieve. A leader paved the way, charted the course and emptied the tank.

Conversely, my perception of shared leadership was that it was overly cumbersome, slow to affect change, influenced by the loudest critic and quick to take the safe option. I was frustrated and unconvinced when a clear and dynamic leader wasn’t seen at the forefront. To me, consensus felt overrated and unnecessary.

While I still believe some dangers exist, I have now come to see shared leadership as essential and believe it is beneficial for the church. If group-think can be avoided and all opinions heard, there is something inherently wiser about a decision coming from a collection of minds rather than an individual. Perhaps real strength isn’t seen in driving through an agenda but in trusting those we lead alongside and the process we are part of.

Recently I’ve seen this so clearly in these times of constant uncertainty and unprecedented change. How we have needed the visionary leaders among us who have been pushing the people of God to embrace the opportunities of the moment. These visionaries have led us to innovate and collaborate in new ways.

But vision alone isn’t enough in these days, so as well as the visionary leaders, we have needed the reflective leaders among us. Just like the men of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12, these reflective are those who “understood the times” and with prophetic wisdom and insight, have been deeply pondering and helping us reflect on all we are learning right now.

Yet we need more than reflection for the way ahead, and so as well as the reflective leaders, we have needed the pragmatic leaders who have been able to lead by offering concrete solutions and adding detail to decisions. These pragmatists are helping us move forward with clarity and certainty, and their voice is important at this time.

But we need more than pragmatism right now, because the task of spiritual leadership goes deeper than mere simple solutions, and so as well as the pragmatic leaders we need the pastoral leaders to remind us of the deep needs of people in these days. The pastors will teach us how we can respond to those who are suffering, hurting and on the margins.

It’s so rare for a leader to embody all of these things but in a shared leadership environment there is space for the visionaries to dream, the reflectives to ponder, the pragmatists to plan and the pastoral to care. We need them all! This should free us to be ourselves as we lead alongside others and trust that what we each bring will shape things together. The visionaries can bring creative solutions to the table safe in the knowledge that someone else will help those ideas be worked out in practice.

So in the moments where I am leading, I need to become a listener. It’s also why in the times I am part of a team, I need to contribute. And in the times, I am being led, I can celebrate the diversity of perspectives and solutions that everyone brings to the table. It reminds me of the words of Paul to the Corinthians:

“God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful.” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7 MSG)

I have been learning to appreciate the practice of shared leadership as a beautiful and treasured thing, not just for the times we are in but also for the road ahead.

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