© 2010 John Casimir O'Keefe

Leadershift in the Church

For the church to reach this generation for Christ we need a major “leadershift.”  Generally speaking the church has been lost by how its leadership leads.  We have been using the wrong models to guide us as followers of Christ.  Our examples range from the industrial sector, from sports and from the military. We have convinced ourselves that to be good leader we need to understand how a business leader leads in business, how coaches coach a sports team, or how a general leads their troops into battle.  But I believe this is view is wrong, and that we are counting on bad models to move our communities of faith.  We need to rid ourselves of these Industrial/Sport/Military Leadership model and shift to a Conceptual Followship model.

Many believe we are in a wasteland of leadership in the church, and I agree.  Not because we do not have people willing to be leaders, but because we have people willing to be an industrial leader in a Conceptual Age.  Over the past few hundred years this industrial model of leadership has caused us to reach a point where this “leadershift” must take place.  We have developed a church that lost the basic understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ, but understands what it means to be a business.  We have developed unmotivated people sitting in our pews who expect the “paid staff” to do all the work.  We have developed a system where members of different church do not speak to each other, or connect in any way, because “they don’t think like us.  We have developed a system that encourages just a few to do all the work, and burn out.  We have developed into a people who do not think for ourselves, we have become followers of our pastors and not of Christ.  This “leadershift” is found in our understanding that none of us are leaders, we are all followers.  When we see that we are all followers, we come to an understanding that change is needed; that we are in need of a shift.

This “leadershift” invites us to so very interesting realities.  One of the first things is does is remove the idea of “leadership” from the line of sight between others and God.  When we, as “leaders,” move aside and others see past us and into the eyes of the divine, things change and people grow in Christ.  Second, we will find that denominational lines do not matter and people start to work together under the single head of Christ.  Third, we will find that people will take “ownership” of their faith, and they will be willing to share that ownership with others.  Fourth, people will find new ways of doing things.  The idea that we keep doing the same things over and over again, with the same poor results, will fade away.  People will find new and exciting ways to bring to life their faith and invite others to partake in the adventure.  This will invite people to be creative and explore areas we can’t even imagine.

When we shift from the internal “industrial” view of our communities of faith we shift the focus from “us” to “them.”  This shift in thinking will cause us to grow in relationship to the divine and others.  When this shift occurs, we invite others to move forward, our influence on them is more indirect and informative because we live a life as a follower – not of the pastor, but of Christ.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shankaranand, Jonathan Reitz and CoachNet, Jonathan Reitz. Jonathan Reitz said: Are we getting the leadership model right? Here's a starter from John O'Keefe…what do you think? http://ow.ly/3gAOf […]

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