Friday, October 17, 2008

Touching Base! Part 9

Humanizing Leadership

Have you noticed in this season of elections, both here in Canada and south of the border, that political leaders are attempting to humanize themselves? Harper is the father who walks his daughter to school, Palin is a hockey mom, Obama grew up in a single parent family, Jack Layton can be seen riding a bike through the streets of a Canadian city. What this illustrates is that the leader can be lost behind a title, a party, a platform.

What is true in the political arena can also be true in the Church. Instead of leaders being personal and vulnerable, leaders can become remote and aloof. Rather than hearing a leader’s heart, we instead are kept at bay with impersonal rhetoric. Oftentimes in churches, permission is not granted for leaders to be human. All must appear happy and whole. What can then happen is that, sooner or later, “stuff” surfaces that has never been processed and a leader leaves in disgrace.

At Bethel, we believe that it is good for leadership to be personal and vulnerable. As we share aspects of our journey, we can contribute to building an authentic community and encourage others who may be having similar struggles and victories. As an elders’ team we believe that modeling this kind of leadership needs to start with us. We believe that in order to build a caring community we must build an honest community. Thus, over the next several months in the Sunday morning services the elders will be taking some time to share aspects of their journey. We desire that you not only know who we are, but that you also see into our hearts and understand aspects of our growth.

Mark Kotchapaw

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