In times of change godly leaders are the key factor in leading for the positive and minimising the negative impact on the flock. Therefore the key question is: what do leaders need to bring to the table to build trust and confidence in new direction or a new initiative?
Here are a few principles:
- Leaders help the flock with their core motivations - aligning them to Christ and Christ's purposes through teaching, encouragement and godly role modelling
- Leaders clarify future challenges and needs with gospel vision
- Leaders care for the flock when uncertainty comes. We need to be able to express how change will affect people positively and negatively so they know we will help them when they feel weak and afraid
- Leaders communicate clearly in order to help the flock embrace godly opportunity. People respond to concrete vision not vague vision
- Leaders build team and gather resources for the task ahead, focusing people with our enthusiasm and joy in God
- Leaders smooth transition with wisdom and the affection of Christ
- Leaders expect to absorb angst with prayerfulness, compassion and kindness. In doing so we minimise future distress and disturbance
- Leaders help the flock celebrate successes and mourn failures constructively
Leaders are always sensitive to the people they have and what goals and timescales for future change are realistic. We cannot change what we do not have the level of trust to change. In addition we cannot change things in Christ-centred ways unless the church shares a Christ-centred, disciple-making view of its purpose. We lead change in order that he is better magnified through the church making disciples. If that purpose is not central we will simply default to running everyone's favourite things.