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Richard Dawson

Really interesting hobby, love the topics on leadership succession and styles of leadership. On observation I have found that after a pioneer has devolved a missional church or organization, there is the temptation for the group to bring in a manager rather than another visionary. This has numerous issues but one that seems to come across the most is that it suggests a defensive approach, more concerned in not losing what you have rather than moving forward and seeing how they can continue to work alongside God in His mission.


I wonder if anyone is talking about leaders who embed for the long haul in a community and don't plan to move on? (Is the moving on part of some kind of career plan or is it about funding - I'm not sure where the impetus comes from to move) It's not unhealthy to plan to stay, but it means that the model will change and be more about enabling and developing other team members to take over more and freeing them to create more as confidence builds.

I read a pioneer once say they would move on once the initial start up was over as they didn't like maintenance and would be bored, but that seems potentially as if they were never really embedded in their community fully, looking at all the possibilities holistically. There are always new things the Spirit is birthing that we can join in with all around us, once the initial activity is in good health and stabilised. If we drop the idea of career progression, is staying and developing organically and synergistically a good option that reaps great results?


Kim this is a great question/issue. I think there are definitely some people who do kick start things and move on. But I think there is lots of space for starting something and sticking with it as it grows and evolves and roles then change. I think commitment to a place and community over time also opens up things in a different way. Perhaps it's what the vow of stability is about for benedictine monks or equivalent. I have been part of Grace for about 15 years. It doesn't mean we haven't done lots of new things!


Jonny, the point about a vow of stability is a brilliant way to think about it. I've been working in community dev type stuff in the small town where I am for almost 20 years now and the result is knowing most of the key players really well, stable and trusting relationships have been built and a good network (non church aswell as church). It means now we are trying to start a Foodbank we have a lot of goodwill and contacts and it is a hugely collaborative venture. There's something about the commitment and intentionality to stay through the good and bad that communicates itself.

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    i have been blogging for a decade or more in fairly eclectic fashion. i am an advocate for pioneers, lover of all things creative, an explorer of faith in relation to contemporary culture, a photographer and writer. explore the presences section below to find me in other spaces

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