Friday, 4 May 2007

Leadership Thoughts Pt 2

It seems to me that one of the key roles of a church leader is to inculcate Biblical values in those he leads. In other words, a major job of church leadership is to engender a certain kind of (godly) culture. It is the leader's job to reinforce that culture at every point through his speaking, his behaviour and through the way things are organized. The creation of a culture, though, is quite different from simply having an 'official line' on something. A culture is what people actually do and say, rather than what they officially 'should' do and say. Culture is the real set of values that people have, and not the theoretical one.

Now, the issue here is that any church culture is created by a whole number of implicit, unconscious messages as well as by overt ones. What I don't say, or what I imply, is actually just as important in shaping the church culture as what I do say (when was the last time I took a close look at what I don't say?!!). So, for example, I may well 'officially' believe in the gospel of justification, but actually in my manner and style of preaching communicate legalism. Thus, we end up with church which 'officially' believes the gospel but actually lives out a sub-gospel. This is very hard to see because my official beliefs deceive me to the reality of the situation. Or, the way the church community is organized and the atmosphere of our meetings may well inhibit evangelism and promote other values - all the while I talk about how important evangelism is. I'm saying one thing but the whole community structure and atmosphere is saying something else. If a leader is to really inculcate values and change a culture then he has to work at this level and not simply make grand statements or produce vision documents. It is here that communities are changed, or not. It seems to me that it is the leader's job to notice and take hold of these things.