Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Leaderless Church

For many among the emerging or self-described reforming church there lies at the back of their mouth a bitter taste that their taste buds tell them is leadership. For some, they have tried to get rid of this bitter taste by sticking their fingers to the back of their mouth and, in process, have gagged themselves often to the point of seeing their lunch again. Any time that you see your lunch for the second time you know that something has gone horribly wrong.

The truth is that in many cases leadership has indeed left a bitter aftertaste for some and, much to the delight of local media, has even at times gone disgustingly sideways. People are naturally becoming more and more wary and less and less trusting of their leadership; whether at work, in the political arena, at church, or otherwise. Leadership, it seems, has become to the churched, disoriented churched, and maybe even the unchurchable a word, idea, and system that does not allow for honest community. Why? Because we don’t trust leadership. And so we do not trust.

The backsplash that surrounds the leadership sink is a ‘popular among the emerging church’ idea that suggests we can have leaderless church and leaderless structural organizations. If you are one of these ‘bad aftertaste’ people then this is a really sexy idea because now there is no leader and there is a group of people who are gathered around a common cause. Sounds good doesn’t it? Too bad that it actually doesn’t work.

Most often the leaderless organization is set up as a backlash to an existing ‘personality driven’ style of leadership. However, leaderless leadership (yes I recognize the oxymoron) and over zealous personality driven leadership are both at unhealthy ends of the same continuum. The goal is neither a leaderless leadership nor a one man band leadership but rather a type of connected matrix of leadership.

Leaderless organization is a very appealing ideal that at first tries to pass itself off to the eager consumers as very community driven. The problem is that the consumers of this ideal are likely more selfish-driven then community-driven. Let me generalize; proponents of leaderless organization often struggle with submitting to authority. In fact, leaderless organizations actually perpetuate personality driven leadership because someone will eventually emerge as ‘the leader’ and, because there are no other leaders or leadership development, the organization will become focused on that emerged leader.

Leaderless church can quickly become the very thing that it was trying to avoid.
Leaderless church rejects one of God’s spiritual gifts to the church; leadership.
What else will a leaderless church reject? God himself? Maybe.

There is a fear out there that says we must not base our ministry on a specific person; we don’t want personality driven ministries. Leaderless leadership structures do not fix this. Yes, I would much rather a group rally around a cause and not rally around a person…but what proponents of leaderless organization do not recognize is that there still needs to be some rallying people to a cause.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006


On the lighter side of things; take this quiz.

You scored as Captain Jack Sparrow. Roguish,quick-witted, and incredibly lucky, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who sometimes ends up being a hero, against his better judgement. Captain Jack looks out for #1, but he can be counted on (usually) to do the right thing. He has an incredibly persuasive tongue, a mind that borders on genius or insanity, and an incredible talent for getting into trouble and getting out of it. Maybe its brains, maybe its genius, or maybe its just plain luck. Or maybe a mixture of all three.

Captain Jack Sparrow


Lara Croft


El Zorro


William Wallace


Indiana Jones


James Bond, Agent 007




Batman, the Dark Knight


The Amazing Spider-Man


Neo, the "One"


The Terminator


Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

A few bits and pieces of interest in the blog world that you should know...
regen Young Adults Conference is just around the cornor; if you are in the BC area go get registered today! There are loads of questions being asked here, a great article on keeping Sabbath rests over on Carson's blog, eddie def has struck with another post, and Chad forgot his wallet.....again! I am working on a column right now that deals with the sexy lie of leaderless organizations...I'll post it later today.

Tell a friend about this blog and subscribe with bloglines. Remember, shameless advertising is ehohkay.

Monday, July 10, 2006

sometimes it's okay to be selfish

I learnt an interesting lesson this week. My fiancĂ© - Dean - has been gone for 10 days now and he does not return for another 10 days. I tend to be an otherish sort of person when it comes to praying. I pray for my friends, family, strangers..whomever is on my heart. It’s no surprise, then, that Dean's absence has kept him on the forefront of my mind. I have been praying for him constantly and am continually wondering how he is.

I sat down to write this late Sunday evening. It was getting late so I saved it. I had hoped to return to it on Monday but my mom had to be rushed to emergency and so most of my evening was spent praying and concerning myself with her. (She will be alright by the way.) Since then I have developed a viral infection in my throat and today I received 3 stitches in my left forearm. Which was a painful reminder that box cutters are sharper than you might think. Unless you already thought they, that is...then it should be sharper than I might think. Which really is most likely the case...I mean, who doesn't know a box cutter is sharp....?

Oh yeah, I've had mix-ups with the bridesmaids' dresses, concerns of the church canceling, delays on the invitations. And all the while I keep asking God, why? why is this all happening now? and why can't Dean be here for me to talk to? if only Dean were here. And do you know what God said to me? God said, "Because apparently I needed to remind you that I am here. You seem to have forgotten."

Have you ever noticed that? How often do you sit and pray that God will be with you throughout your day? That He will carve your path and protect you as you walk it? God reminded me that it's okay for us to pray for ourselves. I don't, generally, because I start to feel selfish. Perhaps it is different for you. Perhaps you read this and are astonished that I would point out something so basic. Doesn't she know that by now? And perhaps you're right, perhaps I should.

Well what an important lesson for me to relearn, then: God cares. Talk to Him about it.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006


Another weekend is over, barely. Do you realize that you we are only a few days away from the next one. Start making your plans kids.

Anyhow, a few bits and pieces of items that may keep you interested for more then a minute. Chad Langerud has officially entered the internerd world of blogging, there is a new multi-contributor blog headed by Hawkins and Mack, and there were some very kind words written about this blog by Austin, Texas marketer and author Thom Singer. Check it out here. To top it off, there is a rustic little piece written about cabin life over at my other blog that may inspire you to build a tree fort, get reflective, and maybe write some poetry. If you're craving a more visual philosophical expression take a look at the latest installments of post-secrets……

Other then that, our girl Alyne is 12 weeks away from tying the knot and a few days away from gracing us with some more of her written work. Check out her July 4th photoblog!

I’ve been enjoying following the question and answer dialogue below! Keep’em coming!
Grace and Peace,

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The True or False Game; V1.1

In version 1.0 of the True and False Game we explored the contextualization of the Christian message and came to a bit of a stalemate. No firm conclusions were made on either side. Welcome to version 1.1.

True or False?

Most often the answer is irrelevant – it is the question that matters most.

If you read this; response is required.

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