Towards 2027: taking the DeLorean out for a spin

By Colleen Geyer

Posted in Leadership

Abstract:

The Uniting Church was built on an innovative and forward-looking idea, though built in a particular time and context. Still only a young church, it has grown and become more than could have been imagined at its birth and faced many challenges along the way. As we look to the future what type of leaders do we need and what challenges will they face? Can we as the Uniting Church be bold enough to listen to our history, step away from what has always been, be open to where God is leading us and step aside for the leaders who will take us there?


Since becoming General Secretary in January 2016, I have been privileged to listen to, and learn from Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress leaders in the Uniting Church.

I know this journey will continue. I have valued time with them, listening to their wisdom and story. These experiences and connections have deeply moved me and influenced my world view and my understanding of God as Creator, embedded in ancient stories, in the Bible and also in this ancient land as acknowledged in the Preamble to the Constitution of the Uniting Church.1

And so, I begin by acknowledging the First Peoples of this land, the Kaurna people, their ancient ways and knowledge, their stories and law, and their connection to and sovereignty in this land, and pay my respects to their wise Elders, past, present and emerging.

We’re in the process of moving the Assembly offices in Sydney from 222 Pitt Street to 262 Pitt Street. We’ve been at 222 Pitt Street since 1987 when the offices moved from Clarence Street. The Uniting Church was 10 years old, and when we move it will be a few months before the Church celebrates its 43rd Anniversary. Moves often bring up some unexpected delights. I’m moving from a separate office to a desk in an open-plan office. In my current office is a bookshelf which still contains books from the 4th Assembly General Secretary, Terence Corkin. As I sorted through the books, I came upon this gem – The Uniting Church in Australia: The First 25 Years (edited by William and Susan Emilsen)2.

I started to read it and was captivated. There are chapters on the Assembly and one on each of the seven Synods that existed at that time. As I continued all I could think was, “how come the Church (and in my case the Assembly) was exactly the same then as it is now?” The challenges included some I had written about in papers to the Assembly Standing Committee. Assembly restructures (I’ve done one of these myself), Assembly reports that required broad consultation (there have been a few), reducing the agencies of the Assembly (I’m glad there aren’t 31 of them anymore!), managing expectations of the wider church while funding is decreasing.

One of the observations in relation to the first 25 years was:
…the Assembly’s patterns of activity have been affected by financial constraints. Without a large independent income stream, the Assembly relies on other Church councils for most of its funding. This leaves its programs vulnerable to funding cutbacks by those councils… these funding shortfalls have slowed the Assembly’s institutional reforms, limited its capacity to deal effectively with policy questions and reduced its ability to provide clear national leadership to the Church.3

The book also included comments about what the Uniting Church needed to attend to for the future, which echoed ones I’d heard in various meetings and councils over the past couple of years. One chapter concludes:
…it would be a mistake to write off the Uniting Church as capital-rich in sacred spaces, but numerically and spiritually in serious decline.” Indicating that, “we have to wait in hope.”4

Issues about the legal structure of various entities are also mentioned and what the impact was or would be. To me it was as if William and Susan Emilsen, and the other writers had time travelled to 2020 and written about what was happening now. Hence my staring into space for a few minutes remembering the movie, Back to the Future!5 (I did wonder if people would get the reference to the DeLorean – guess I mostly got the age range of this symposium right!)

In the time we have together this afternoon, I’d like to lay out for you what I think are some of the challenges the Uniting Church faces now and in the coming decade, and consider what type of leaders and leadership we need as a church to face these challenges. I’d also like to talk about the characteristics of a Christian leader.

Of course most of us in this room won’t be leaders in the church in 10 years time, or at least maybe we shouldn’t be. So I also asked some young Uniting Church leaders their views on these issues and I’ll share them with you too. We’ve got 30 minutes and then some discussion time, but we can meander through this with questions if we like as well.

Before we launch into the challenges, turn to the person next to you and share one challenge with each other that you think the Uniting Church is facing now and/or in the coming decade. You’ve got three minutes and then we’ll hear a few of them.

CHALLENGES

Challenges – here’s a few that I see we are facing now and in the coming decade:

The colonising of the Covenant

The Covenant6 between the Uniting Church and the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress is integral to our DNA as a movement of God in this country. Despite this moment in our history when the Covenant was spoken, the Preamble to our Constitution, our acknowledging the sovereignty of First Peoples7, we as second peoples are in danger of colonising the Covenant if we haven’t already done so. As we, as leaders and second peoples categorise what we ‘see’ ‘happening’ to Congress as needing changing/fixing, as not complying with the ways of the Uniting Church, imposing our solutions and so on – without walking together, without respect, without acknowledgment, without listening – our actions will be without honour and our special, reciprocal relationship will be broken.

What if we really meant we were in covenant with First Peoples and didn’t seek to impose our white, privileged, institutionalised ways on that relationship but sat willingly, listening, learning, walking together?

Leadership for our worshipping communities

I think we’ve got a problem in providing leadership for our worshipping communities. Firstly, we mostly say, ‘you can only have a minister if you can pay for one’, or we say ‘because you can’t pay for a minister you have to do it yourselves’. The number of new candidates isn’t as many as the number of ministers who are retiring. At times, we characterise leadership in our Church as what you do when you move out of congregational ministry and into bureaucratic roles, even if they are missional in nature. We don’t form our candidates for the challenges they will face, and often we don’t support them and resource them so they can be resilient leaders. The Church is becoming top heavy. Ministry in our local communities where the love of God, and the transforming witness of Christ’s life, death and resurrection transforms lives and communities are where it’s at. If we’re not this at our heart, communities of disciples living out lives of faith, with faithful leaders, I don’t really get what we are. Maybe a not-for-profit organisation? I’m sure it would be a very good not-for-profit organisation, but it would cease to be the body of Christ, bringing the transforming love of God to people and communities in all their ordinary, life-facing situations, both jubilantly joy-filled and bone-crushingly devastating.

The diversity of our church represented in its structures and leaders

The Uniting Church is diverse8. I know – this has become somewhat of a cliché over the years. We made the important statement in 1985 – We are a multicultural church. Our diversity is something to be celebrated, isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is. We are so many things - flawed, looking to the future, too hung up on the past, inclusive, inclusive only when it suits us, many cultures, different genders, different lifestyles, innovative, open, too keen to form roadblocks, faithful, totally in for God’s mission, young, old, really old.

Often though, when we look at those who sit on our Councils, our Standing Committees, those who are our leaders, we do not see this diversity represented. We’re still middle aged to older aged, mostly white Anglo with a certain economic status. This can’t continue to be what we see because that’s not who we are.

Working Together - Collaboration (action not concept)

Over the past few years it’s been wonderful to see examples of important collaboration across the Uniting Church, working together on issues and services that are shared in common. This symposium is a good example of collaboration between two Synods that is benefitting the whole Church. Despite how it feels sometimes, the Uniting Church isn’t that big, and yet we set up multiple systems, operations, institutions etc that are providing the same service, having the same function etc. If we are going to be sustainable into the future, using our resources wisely to enact God’s mission, we can’t continue to do this. We have to attend to collaboration with outcomes that enable efficiency, share resources and offer a variety of ways to be a part of the body of Christ. We have to move past numerous conversations that dream the dreams and develop concepts to action and implementation. We will have to think and work differently but this is absolutely possible.

Financial sustainability

The collaboration challenge picks up a bit of the challenge of financial sustainability. Our current organisational structure is not sustainable when the impacts of responding to Royal Commissions, dwindling funding bases, and identifying alternative revenue sources are taken into consideration. The call on the income of our members has also changed, and we don’t have as many members as we did at union. I mentioned before how ministry in local communities is often tied to whether that community can afford it or not. A small community with potential but not sufficient income might only be able to afford a two-day a week minister, but with a full-time minister they could grow and flourish. The challenge of financial sustainability has to take into account the realities we are facing, and where our financial resources are directed – for example do we need multiple payroll offices across the Synods or should we fund more ministry in local communities? Do we maintain under-utilised buildings or resource our Presbyteries to provide oversight and encouragement to congregations and ministry agents they are responsible for?

Letting go of assets in response to past moral failings

One of the issues that has given us no other option but to work together over the past years has been the three national Royal Commissions – institutional responses to child sexual abuse, aged care quality and safety, and violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability. These public investigations of the failings of institutions, including churches, have held a bright light to us at our worst. Rightly our Church has been called to account for the abuse and harm of people in our care, our moral responsibility for these failings has motivated our responses and will continue to do so. What will it take to ensure justice happens? It will take what it will take. We have to be prepared that it will take much, probably more than we ever imagined, and for many years to come, and be ok with that.

Structure and legal identity

I’ve left this challenge to the end of my list. Mainly because it’s often tough to talk about. I love our Church, I love the Basis of Union and all that we have done in the past 42 and a half years to be faithful to our calling as a movement of God. I do not believe that investigating our structure and legal identity, and whether it’s fit for purpose for the future, changes any of that. Since the first year of being Assembly General Secretary, on and off, I’ve asked people if they had to remove one council of the Uniting Church, which would it be? Only one person has said the council they worked in, and no one has said the Congregation or the Assembly. We need to have this conversation, we have to explore whether our current structure and legal identity is fit for purpose as we look to the future. This should not be as important as being open to God’s vision for our Church in these challenging, contemporary times, or advocating for the future of our planet, God’s creation, or seeking solutions for the growing numbers of homeless people for example. Our structure provides the framework for us to do all these things and so much more. It also practically reminds us of our interconnectedness through its interconciliar nature. I don’t believe these things will be lost if we explore what we need for the future in regard to structure and legal identity, or even if we change it.

Phew!

LEADERSHIP9

With those challenges, and I’m sure many others, leaders and leadership in the Uniting Church will be key.

I wonder what type of a leader you are? Or you aspire to be?

How would you describe yourself as a leader in one or two words? Share this with the person next to you. We’ll take three minutes for this. Anyone want to share?

Whether you’re a leader that leans in to possibilities to be the best leader you can be and inspire others, or a courageous leader who advocates for others and the world, or a leader who helps others to grow or who blazes a trail in a new direction so others can follow, or who brings wisdom and insight to conversations and situations, or who understands that taking a risk is sometimes warranted and can open up a new way which brings life, or who can say ‘this matters’ so others can catch a vision, and can say ‘me too’.10

Leaders who serve11, adapt, transform, facilitate, connect, delegate, coach, offer a vision, are strategic are all part of the leadership landscape.

But where does leadership in the Uniting Church fit, Christian leadership – leadership in this time and place in our movement’s journey – leadership aware of the challenges we face and the challenges that are roaring towards us, leadership that faces forward while holding faith close?

The Uniting Church itself tells us something about the leaders and leadership we need. I’d like to discuss just three that I see as relevant:

Collaborative Leadership

We’re connected. We exist together. Our interconciliar structure reminds us of this. #all of this is us! As we face a future with challenges, some we know about, others we don’t, we need to lose the notion that leaders exist alone, in isolation. If we don’t work together as leaders, as part of our own teams and as part of the wider leadership team across the church12, we will risk losing the potential of what God has in store for us and for the people and communities we serve. Leading collaboratively allows us to see the big picture, to be inspired by what God is doing in other places and to learn from others so that we also grow. If we pull back into the security and comfort of our own area, our own individual ways, our own locus of responsibility we face the possibility of being in a position of separation and scarcity rather than in a place of abundance, generosity and openness to all God is calling us to.

Courageous Leadership

Since its beginning, the Uniting Church has been a courageous Church. The Basis of Union was a courageous document, forging a new way for a Church in Australia. The Inaugural Statement to the Nation was clear about what could be expected of us, it is not a wallflower statement by any means.

We will need courageous leadership if we are going to face the challenges that are with us and that are coming. Leaders who are brave enough to speak publicly for those who are treated unjustly, advocating for people whose voice is not heard or not allowed. We need leaders who are brave enough to live lives that authentically follow Christ13, whose actions might not be the norm – to be inclusive, to hold the value of all people in our words and in how we serve. Courage will be required if we are to seek to be a Church that can adapt to new ways rather than hang on desperately to old ways for the sake of it, so that we can continue to be true to the mission God is calling us to.

Innovative Leadership

The Uniting Church is in many ways, all about trying new things. It is itself the product of something new – a 1977 startup. I’ll always remember when every Synod Standing Committee and members of the Assembly Standing Committee met by video conference to consider setting up a company to be the one point of contact for the National Redress Scheme. It had never been done before. That night four Synods had agreed, with the other two making the decision to do so within a week. The Assembly Standing Committee had already approved the move. It was an example of flexibility, nimbleness and openness to new ways.

As we consider the challenges ahead of us, we’ll need innovative leaders. Davis McCaughey and others on the Joint Commission on Church Union were innovative leaders.

Innovative leaders have the vision for what is possible, the motivation to work towards that vision and the commitment to working collaboratively with others so the vision can become more than it was at the beginning. We should be asking, ‘What if this happened? What if we commit our resources in this way?’ We should be open to what we’ve never thought of before, to listening to the voices of the young emerging leaders in our Church who aren’t held back by ‘it’s always been done that way, it works’, but explore, experiment and trust they will find a way. We may not recognise the Uniting Church we become, but we might just be ready for a future we can’t even see the shape of yet.

Overlaying all of this is the faith dynamic.

We might have all of those types of leadership I’ve just discussed in our leadership toolkit, but at the foundation is our faith – to ground us, guide us, replenish us and strengthen us.

Here’s some characteristics of a leader who pays attention to their faith, who as a Christian sees God as central to everything they do:

  • They are part of a faith community – as leaders we need to have our faith, our discipleship nurtured, grown and encouraged
  • They pray – our personal relationship with God is built on time spent in prayerful communication in God’s presence – short time, long time, running between meetings time, bone weary time
  • They read and study the Bible as part of their routine (being taught the Word of God) – we have to be reminded of the witnesses set out for us in the Bible, Jesus’ life on earth, people and communities struggling with their faith, and read again and again of God’s faithfulness to us and companionship as we serve
  • They work as a team – we’re in this together; Jesus showed us this in his leadership training school with his followers
  • They are humble – there is no space in our leadership for ego or superiority – as a person of faith, God is first

So we have some challenges – now, and in the future; we need leaders who are grounded in their faith and who can collaborate, who are courageous and innovative.
As I said in the beginning, I then thought to myself, well they’re my ideas – what do some young emerging leaders think about all this? So I put these three questions to a group of them, and some of them responded.14

So here are the questions, I asked them:

  • In your opinion, what are the challenges facing the Uniting Church, now and for the next decade?
  • How would you describe the type of leaders that the Uniting Church needs to meet these challenges?
  • Is there anything else you would like to say to a national symposium on leadership and theology in the Uniting Church? (this was kind of a ‘message in a bottle’ question if you’ve ever done one of those employee satisfaction surveys)

In response to question 1, what are the challenges facing the Uniting Church, now and for the next decade, here are some of their responses:

  • How do we engage (especially young) people actively hostile to Christianity, when their hostility is well justified by the harms inflicted on them and their friends by churches?
  • Climate change. We need to move past concern and into meaningful action.
  • We are very poorly equipped to apply our principles (e.g. around justice) to new contexts (e.g. computer technologies).
  • Corporatisation: The mission of the church has become the stewardship of current resources. At the moment the work of the church comes down to can we afford that?
  • Centralisation: We have a centralised methodology about how we work.
  • Christianity in the post-modern world
  • Strengthening a multi-cultural and multi-generational church 
  • Making disciples for the next generation (living out the Great Commission)
  • The UCA is a quickly ageing church and the system and structure currently is not a system and structure which will take us into the next decade. Young adults are learning a system and structure whichis quickly becoming irrelevant and unsustainable. 
  • The UCA isn’t currently doing enough to raise leaders to sustain the church for the next decade.
  • The UCA thinks it’s more relevant and has a bigger influence than it does. Reality is that the division and issues that happen within the UCA don’t affect or bother the secular world. We need to keep speaking into issues of justice loudly and make sure we don’t just take the easy path.
  • Ordination.
  • To recapture the significance of Christian proclamation and faith.
  • Taking cross-cultural ministry to the next phase where the gospel of grace can be testified by multi-racial congregations. It requires genuine equality and oneness in-depth among every faith community that comes from different cultural backgrounds.
  • Getting over the death narrative “The Church is dying” Just because we are getting smaller doesn’t mean we are getting weaker. 
  • We need to Embrace Growth and we need to ‘GROW YOUNG!’
  • Resourcing Ministers and leaders in regional areas?
  • And how do we deal with the formation of getting more people engaged in leadership or even hearing the Call to live out Gods ministry.
  • Financially supporting ministries within emerging generations
  • Leading, Fresh Expressions into the community
  • Identifying that EVERYONE has a seat at Gods Table.
  • What is our mission as a church of having young people? How do we cater to them?
  • Understanding who we are as UCA. Understand who we are, remembering our Traditions and Culture and being excited on moving forward together and what does that look like.

In response to question 2, how would you describe the type of leaders that the Uniting Church needs to meet these challenges?

  • Principled. Savvy. Young. Well-resourced and connected.
  • Ordained ministry: how do we equip people in ordained ministry to lead in this corporatized and centralised world we find ourselves in?
  • We need to take every member ministry seriously.
  • Most importantly leaders should have a heart to know and love God and should rely on the Holy Spirit rather than just themselves.
  • For the church there is no point in following a leader if they are not making time to follow THE leader (God).
  • Leaders should prayerfully engage in discussions about their faith or be taught to make disciples who can be confident in their ability to make other disciples.
  • These leaders should be faithful (willing to have a go), available (make time for the needs of the Uniting Church/good time management so they do not get 'burnt out'), teachable (willing to learn and teach others) and obedient (will commit and be accountable for their actions) .
  • We need leaders who are innovative, and strategic. Leaders who don’t just do what has always been done but are willing to try new things and not be afraid of change.
  • We also need leaders who are compassionate and willing to listen to the people.
  • We need leaders who live and explore outside the four walls of the church.
  • Given what has been said above the type of leaders the Church needs are those who are able to identify and traverse the various cultural divides which exist within society and are reproduced in our Church. This means we need leaders who understand how to expose the way the Gospel has been domesticated into white-educated-colonial-middle-class Australian society by the Uniting Church: which means indigenous, migrant and non-Anglo, lower socio-economic, people with hybrid identities.
  • Leadership in the Uniting Church needs to hedge against (sub-)cultural reproduction, and invite cultural change.
  • bilingual at least
  • live in and understand more than one culture and have worked in a multicultural church setting
  • We need Leaders dedicated and hard working.
  • We need leaders who are not satisfied with the status quo yet are willing to learn and better active leaders. Meaning gracious, strong willed and creative.
  • Leaders need to be committed to lifelong learning and innovation. Be strong to lead! As it will come with difficulties and challenges.
  • But main of all, willing to have deep and difficult conversations, being open to listen intensively, to think before they act and be a leader who wants to build capacity and use their Power as a tool to serve.

 

And here’s what they wanted to say to this symposium, in response to the question, is there anything else you would like to say to a national symposium on leadership and theology in the Uniting Church?

  • Leaders have to be known "by their fruits"
  • Good intentions, good will, deep reflection; they're all necessary but not sufficient if we want the church to be more of a foretaste-and-sign than just a (lovely!) community that meets on Sunday mornings.
  • I think we would do well to spend less time talking to each other and more time listening to those outside the church, especially in marginalised and vulnerable communities.
  • Who we are as the UCA is a union of three denominations. But we still hold on to this as the way to self-identify as the church and anyone who doesn’t have this reference point isn’t as good. There is an over-emphasis on the forming three denominations to form a contemporary identity, we can’t respond to contemporary issues.
  • The way we do church was appropriate when we began, but is it appropriate now? When I think of unity in the church, being multicultural etc – we need to look at sacred cows in the church (eg the BofU needs to be looked at today, Manual for Meetings)
  • Would you be willing to look at our own ie UCA missiology? A missiology that takes us to the future, self-reflective and critical, challenging our sacred cows
  • Ideally, for these leaders 'success' in facing these challenges is the act of stepping out in faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.
  • The UCA needs to invest in the mentorship of young adults not just to raise quality leaders but also to raise a new generation of theologians and skilled ministry practitioners and those who know and understand the doctrine and polity of the UCA.
  • I have a deep respect and love for those who have paved the UCA over the last 42 years. The people who have faithfully served and worked for the UCA. I don’t want to replace you, but I do want opportunities to walk alongside of you, to learn from you and to represent and lead the UCA with the skills, gifts and calling I have.
  • as someone relatively new to the Uniting Church, who didn’t grow up in the Uniting Church, it strikes me how important it is to keep coming back to first principles. We need to keep asking in clear and explicit terms: Who is Jesus? What is the Gospel we proclaim? What does ministry mean? What is ordination? How does our Church structure itself in terms of relationship and role (not hierarchy)?

 

There are some correlations between what I identified as challenges for the Uniting Church and the responses from these young leaders. They’re more focused on ministry, not as caught up in resourcing. They’re even more future focussed, they challenge us to get over ourselves. They call things as they see them, there is hope.

Leaders for them, will need to be grounded in their faith, externally facing, adequately prepared, representative of the diversity of our Church (bilingual). Principled, savvy, well-connected, compassionate, innovative, faithful, available, teachable, obedient, gracious, strong-willed, creative, with hearts to know and love God.

I love their vision, I want those leaders for our Church.

In the beginning of the book I spoke about at the start, it says, “The Uniting Church is a young church. It has barely made a start. It has only just moved into its second quarter-century. In the history of the Christian Church twenty-five years is scarcely a blip… Twenty-five years after Union there is a less brash and more sombre tone in the Uniting Church.” (1, 5)

In seven years time we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Uniting Church. If we could find a suitable time travel vehicle and go forward to 2027, what would we find? And how would that change what we are doing now?

From “For a Leader”

May you know the wisdom of deep listening,
The healing of wholesome words,
The encouragement of the appreciative gaze,
The decorum of held dignity,
The springtime edge of the bleak question

May you have a mind that loves frontiers
So that you can evoke the bright fields
That lie beyond the view of the regular eye….

May leadership be for you
A true adventure of growth15.


  1. “The First Peoples had already encountered the Creator God before the arrival of the colonisers; the Spirit was already in the land revealing God to the people through law, custom and ceremony. The same love and grace that was finally and fully revealed in Jesus Christ sustained the First Peoples and gave them particular insights into God’s way”. Uniting Church in Australia Constitution, Preamble to the Constitution.
  2. William W Emilsen and Susan Emilsen (eds), The Uniting Church in Australia: The First 25 Years. William W Emilsen 2003.
  3. Ibid, 33.
  4. Ibid, 223.
  5. Back to the Future is a 1985 American science fiction film directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by Zemeckis and Bob Gale.
  6. On Sunday 10 July, 1994, the Covenant Statement was read by then President of the Uniting Church Assembly, Dr Jill Tabart, to the Chairperson, the Uniting Aboriginal and Islander Christian Congress, Ps Bill Hollingsworth.
  7. The Fifteenth Assembly of the Uniting Church (2018) resolved that in the light of: (a) the Preamble to the Constitution of the Uniting Church which defines sovereignty to be the way in which First Peoples understand themselves to be the traditional owners and custodians; and (b) the Statement from the Heart’s acknowledgment that sovereignty is a spiritual notion, reflecting the ancestral tie between the land and First Peoples; to affirm that the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Islander Peoples, are sovereign peoples in this land.
  8. The Uniting Church has made many statements embracing our diversity, including “We Are A Multicultural Church”, A statement adopted by the 4th Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia July 1985.
  9. Leadership here is seen as being provided at all levels of the organisation or church. “Leadership is not a position or a person but a process of influence, often aimed at mobilising people towards change – for example, in values, attitudes, approaches, behaviours and ideologies. … Leadership .. can be exercised by individuals located in the middle or at the bottom of organisations, by people without formal authority as much as by DEOs and prime ministers.” Amanda Sinclair, “A feminist case for leadership” in Joy Damousi, Kim Rubenstein, Mary Tomsic (Eds), Diversity in Leadership: Australian women, past and present. Canberra: ANU Press, 2014.
  10. Leadership can embody elements of the following – leadership as position, leadership as person, leadership as result, leadership as process. This is helpful in addition to types, styles etc. Keith Grint, Leadership: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  11. Servant leadership is often studied in regard to Christian leaders and leadership, and rightly so. However, other elements and types of leadership as discussed in this section broaden the nuanced development of leaders for the contemporary challenges they face. See particularly, Larry C Spears (ed), Servant Leadership: A Journity into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (Essays by Robert K Greenleaf). New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2002. And Larry C Spears (ed), Reflections on Leadership: How Robert K Greenleaf’s Theory of Servant-Leadership Influenced Today’s Top Management Thinkers. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995.
  12. “The leadership within a Christian context is one defined by the church’s mission (which encompasses the declaration and practice of the gospel) and thus extends a participatory role to all within the church family, including the contexts in which followers find themselves outside the church.” Russell L. Huizing, “Bringing Christ to the Table of Leadership: Moving Towards a Theology of Leadership”, in The Journal of Applied Christian Leadership, Vol 5, No 2: Fall 2011.
  13. Jesus was God’s way of leadership – not manipulating, but leading by example, by integrity, always offering freedom. His message was one of forgiveness, of healing, of inclusion. It was God’s vision that he preached and embodied. Stephen Bevans, “A Theology Of Leadership, Not Management: Trinitarian Mission And Baptismal Discipleship”, in Annales Missiologici Posnanienses, 14.
  14. Asked 20, 7 responded, they were under 35 years old, 4 female, 3 male, 4 anglo, 3 from cultural communities other than aglo.
  15. John O’Donohue, “For a Leader”, To Bless The Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings. New York: Doubleday, 2008. 152.

 

Thanks to the Uniting Church in Australia Assembly's UCA Nation News, 21-27 February 2020.

 

 


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