the shaping of things to come, part three

March 20, 2005 | 3 Comments

the shaping of things to comeSome final thoughts from The Shaping of Things to Come… (Previous posts, are here , here, and here.) There are lots of good thoughts on the form of leadership in the missional context that are too intensive to develop here, but here’s a couple highlights:

  • Pg 188 – “And it’s one of the core tasks of leadership to help the community to dream again. It is a disturbing trait of the more gung-ho Christian leader today to believe that he (usually male) is the sole visionary and the people are mere receivers of the vision and must adhere to it because of the position of the leader in the organization. While many of us reject this approach to leadership, a watered-down version of this kind of thinking exists in many so-called leadership development programs. They teach that all is well when graduates of those programs simply (super)impose their vision on a community without first listening very deeply to the longings and dreams of the local people in the community.”
  • Pg 188 – “Considered philosophically, all that a great visionary leader does is awaken and harness the dreams and visions of the members of a given community give them deeper coherence by means of a grand vision that ties together all the ‘little visions’ of the members of the group.”
  • Pg 192 – “People will not change unless they believe they really have to. So many leaders come in with a great sense of what the solution might be, but they encounter resistance because they have failed to communicate the problem. What can a leader do to promote paradigm shift?”
  • Pg 192 – “One of the great weapons in the revolutionary leader’s arsenal is to cultivate a sense of holy dissatisfaction–to provoke a basic discontent with what is and so awaken a desire to move toward what could be.”
  • Pg 209 – “Our Christology informs our missiology, which in turn determines our ecclesiology. If we get this the wrong way around and allow our notions of the church to qualify our sense of purpose and mission, we can never be disciples of Jesus, and will never be an authentic missional church.”
  • Final words…get this book (and read it).

  • John,
    Thanks for posting about this book. I really vibed with the second quote from page 192. Do you think that tool is so powerful and effective because we all want something more (authentic, pure, sincere, etc.) in our relationship with God, but we don’t know how to get there? This seems like one dimension of leadership (or shepherding) that I have never thought of before, but always sensed…good stuff.

  • hedrick

    I’m reading this book right now, it’s challanging. I like love the idea of missional living and a missional church.

  • Seth

    Pg 188 Really? All a leader does is connect other people’s little visions? When Nehemiah returned and had a vision to rebuild the walls it does not seem like the people had little visions about it. It seems they were content to live in the present situation and Nehemiah alone brought a picture of what could be that people were awakened by. I know the authoritative leader is unpopular these days but it seems like we are projecting personal preference on the role of leaders, and these projections seem to come from people who aren’t leading, but are critique-ing leaders.