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.

– 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?