I have been thinking a lot about dog training and church leadership. In what ways are we socially like dogs? Are there behaviors of leaders of the packs with dogs that I need to relate to my leadership of a congregation? In what ways in this metaphor inappropriate?
This, as a matter of fact, is at the heart of my boundaries discussion of previous month. A large school of thought of my mentors and in my training says that pastors should be "lovers and historians" of their congregations for the first six months to one year of their tenure. This means not making any major initiatives or challenges to your congregation. Yet, instinctually, there is a deep sense that I need to establish my self as a leader fairly quickly here in Fowler.
This is even more in my mind after this week. This week I have worked with two pastors that both advocate a strong, patriarchal, top down leadership structure in ministry as THE biblical model of church leadership. It has worked for one church very well, and the other church seems to be just emerging from the difficult time.
I tend to be a democratic leader and a consensus builder as a leader. The problem is, in both my ministries in Montana and in Colorado Springs, I gave away my power as leader in order to support people I worked with. Then, I would end up frustrated because I leveraged my authority to gain support and help in the ministry I was leading. Of course, those other two situations are different in some ways because I was in a support staff person.
Yet, while I want to be a "lover and historian" of my congregation, I want to establish myself as a competent leader in the congregation.
I am stil thinking abou it all...