Just back from Devon I have to report great joy in meeting with a lively group of ministers and spouses. I especially loved meeting friends from the past, most of whom I had not seen for over 14 years while absent in the USA. And, as always seems to happen, I learned as much trying to lead the sessions as I gave out. (Actually, I tried to give out too much....a classic mistake of overload. I should know better!)
At the outset we engaged in some heart-storming about particular leadership issues they identified in their own situations. The shared context of Baptist ministry meant many of these issues resonated widely. Carol with her highly legible poster skills wrote these up on a flip chart to summarize the range of concerns:
Authority - given to ministers yet frequently questioned.
Perceptions & Expectations of congregations - sometimes conflicting
Culture change - people don't behave like they used to
Growing people into leadership.
Coping with 'lovely' people who are not leaders and 'unlovely' people who are
Encouraging acceptance of youth in leadership
Coping with powerful families and awkward squads
Changing communication - sermon effectiveness?
Women in leadership
Focus on doing at expense of being
Formation of people
The role of the church meeting - if only there were fewer!
Sadly, having given reign to this list (and it could have been much longer) I could only respond in general terms. As one minister said: 'We really needed a week!' Perhaps some of these issues resonate with you too. But they grounded the sessions in greater reality and helped me realize one thing in particular. I'll post on it shortly!