Monday, January 15, 2007
What is and what could be...
Our church's leadership training team is currently reading Dan Allender's book Leading with a Limp. On page 58 he says this:

"A leader must be troubled and discontent, and he must ask the question, How can tomorrow be better than today? He must be a visionary, living in the tension between how to honor what is good and true today and yet be discontent with today in light of what could transpire tomorrow. He is torn between what is and what could be, yet he speaks the future into the present due to his compelling desire for change."

I thought this described very well the tension felt by many of us in the emerging church movement and especially those of us in church planting. There is a desire to affirm the good things of our Christian past and not simply be divisive innovators. But at the same time, there is the recognition that change is needed and the church has not been perfected yet - that the Holy Spirit is still working in and among his people to make us more loving, more generous, more compassionate, more just.

Emerging leaders are discontent. We do desire a better future, and we often take a lot of criticism for being too critical of what has gone before. But how else could we move forward without discontent? We have no choice but to live in the tension between the past and the future.


posted by Mike Clawson at 10:44 AM | Permalink |


At 1/15/2007 04:39:00 PM, Blogger Pat Loughery

Mike, congrats on being in the new place! I haven't read this Allender book, but I do love the idea. One of my favorite John Wimber-isms (I've got a few; I'm a vineyard guy I guess :-)), was, "I never trust a leader who doesn't walk with a limp."

I suspect Dan uses the illustration the same way - but Wimber's idea was that leaders who don't recongize their own brokenness and weakness are more likely to do stupid things than those who know their flaws.

I have a friend who's planting a church in my area. His affiliation is with a group which essentially requires that their leaders appear victorious to their people, and they can have their brokennness behind the scenes in a safe group of people. But they have to SAY things are OK. I can't imagine how difficult that would be. I like being able to tell people that I'm not having the best of weeks and I also don't know what God's doing; I think that's reality.

Anyway blessings on you and your leaders!


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