One of the highlights of my week has been spending time with a group of clergy committed to developing more leaderful communities and congregations, but facing the problems of working with those who don’t see leadership as their responsibility. How do we bridge that gap?
Leadership models have focused on individuals and individualism. New models of leadership inspired by “new science” focus on process and what goes on between people (this has coincided with a renewed awareness of the interplay and community of the Trinity). Other facilitators, like Viv McWaters and Chris Corrigan talk about developing play. The result is that leadership develops as a community activity rather than a one man (often gender specific) band.
Tomorrow is Cup Final Day. Kenny Dalglish and Roberto di Matteo, managers of Liverpool and Chelsea respectively will be giving their team talks. The winning team will most likely be the team that plays better together, and that is less like a collection of interviews. As we play together, we grow together. As we play together, we take more risks together. Chris Corrigan picks up the theme of football teamwork when he refers to a style of play called Tiki Taka:
A style of play characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession.” With Tiki Taka the ball is continuously passed between team members in a way that the whole team operates as one intelligent field, rather than sum total of talented individuals.
Is that it? Do we need a rich passage of interplay to become a successful team? Is it the short passes, working the channels, the give and go which turns an unresponsive group of individuals into one intelligent field and a leaderful organisation.
At last we see Leonard Cohen – a brilliant concert at the NEC in Birmingham. Jeanette and I both commented on his music being a strong thread through our lives.
Fantastic band of musicians, The audience was spell bound at the end by the singing of the “sublime” Webb Sisters (pictured above) singing “If it be your will”. Here it is – beautiful.
The concert led me to think of this all as a sign of heaven – I mean the band playing together, round one another, giving way to one another, respecting one another – producing harmony in spite of the underlying knowledge shared by LC that there is no such thing as “our perfect offering“.
And on the other hand, I am preparing for our “patronal festival” – church dedicated to St Andrew – and wonder why we use individuals so much as our “icons” of God, instead of community, band, group, family and Trinity. In that case, I wonder what communities (or what sort of communities)become the windows for seeing God’s love. Is it the local church, the communities of reconciliation? Is it the bands of artists who play together, the teams of scientists who work together and the local Christians who pray together?
How about this:
I am so often accused of gloominess and melancholy. And I think I’m probably the most cheerful man around. I don’t consider myself a pessimist at all. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel completely soaked to the skin. … I think those descriptions of me are quite inappropriate to the gravity of the predicament that faces us all. I’ve always been free from hope. It’s never been one of my great solaces. I feel that more and more we’re invited to make ourselves strong and cheerful. …. I think that it was Ben Johnson, I have studied all the theologies and all the philosophies, but cheerfulness keeps breaking through.
Leonard Cohen quoted in “The Joking Troubadour of Gloom” – Telegraph 26th April 1993