i've been thinking that so much of good leadership is about leading through landscapes.
for example, if we all find ourselves in the middle of the ocean, boatless, then the job of the leader is simply to keep us afloat until our circumstances change.
if we all find ourselves in the desert, then the job of the leader is to find water so we can be refreshed.
if we all find ourselves in the middle of a war, then the job of the leader is to keep us safe, bind our wounds, bury our dead, and exhaustively deplete our enemies.
in the jungle, attacked and picked off, find us a way forward
in the mountains, cold and exposed, find us shelter and fire
in the fog, keep us together
more could be said about each of these, but i thought a little 'thought grenade' (as per jvo) would be useful here because i think we've been through all of these landscapes at ww at least twice in my 3 yr stint here.
of course, we could probably never get anyone to agree on what landscape we're in currently (or, for that matter, at any previous point either), but i think we're probably hacking our way through the jungle right now.
hence our small group push.
we've had "issues" with the typical church mentality regarding small groups. in fact, i'm quite proud of the way our staff and elders have thought through some of those issues and identified some major value-adds in the process (honestly, you couldn't imagine better people on the planet for re-thinking ministry than randy and jvo...especially in this area); but, after having no clear way forward for some time, we now find ourselves in midst of a dense jungle - a big, overgrown mess if you will - and it's time for us to clear a path. in this case, the path looks a lot more like small groups than i'd have previously been comfortable with.
but i'm glad we're doing this.
there are many other ways to disciple christ-followers (and we've tried and experimented with many, many of those ways) but our emphasis this fall is to push groups for all the normal reasons (people make connections, people grow together, people support one another).
this will create some stability, a clear way forwards for discipleship, and will allow us to continue using causemology as a kind of missional catalyst, so that we don't become sucky and insular again.
anyway...landscapes...think on it.