Leadership in the Church

In a recent post on the Ablan Institute site, there was a lengthy post that was fantastic.  I will not go into details about the content, you can read the article here.

Rather I was very interested in one section of the article:

During the era of Christendom, clergy tended to have three roles: chaplain, scholar, and part of the authority structure of the town or community. Note that neither “leader” nor “congregational leader” is on the list. Today, however, clergy must be leaders. That is, they must be capable of helping their congregations identify and make progress on their own most pressing problems and deepest challenges. Moreover, clergy must be teachers of the faith and ministry mentors. Both of these roles mean that the ministry is not done primarily by clergy (as in Christendom) but by the people of the church, the members of the congregation. 

What captured my attention was the role of the minister is shifting and it seems like lay members get it but the clergy do not.  

Much of my time in clergy circles places emphasis on things revolving around a ministry paradigm which is fading away.  That is to say, many clergy circles I am in talk a lot about how to "do" hospital visits or what was preached last Sunday or different gossip around the conference about who is being appointed where and attempting to 'out know' others in the room in order to be the most "connected".  

This is not all that clergy talk about, but I have not been in many clergy circles in which leadership styles are deeply discussed.  I do not hear of many of my peers reading leadership books or taking note of some of the leadership trends or conferences around us.  There is a lot of leadership language, but not much leadership conversation.  

We use words like authenticity and transparency but we are not sure we know what these words mean.  We strive to be liked as we sacrifice the ability to lead.  Both Moses and Jesus were not liked all the time by all the people, yet they are the most pivotal leaders in our faith.  

How do clergy reclaim leadership?  

MLK said the church was once a thermostat to society setting the tone, but now has become a thermometer that reflects back the status quo.  How do we clergy help lead the church to become a thermostat again?

Perhaps it begins by taking leadership as seriously as we take theology.