What kind of leadership is needed to help churches and  communities deal well with endings?

  • Leaders who understand that our Christian journey (as individuals and as community) always involves active journeying, movement, following the Spirit and who see this as an opportunity for the church community to deepen their practices of prayer and discernment.
    • What examples from Scripture might you encourage people to reflect on?
  • Non-anxious presence leaders who understand the challenges people experience when dealing with change, and can teach people about the importance and value of the liminal season, why they are feeling the way they are feeling, and what they can do with their anxiety.
    • How does your own prayer and devotional life enable you to be a non -anxious presence in times of change?
  • Adaptive leaders who are able to listen and respond to the needs of the context, who can help regulate the pace of loss people experience avoiding the temptation to either rush through the process OR delay making any changes out of misguided pastoral concern.
    • What skills, gifts and experience would you bring to this part of the process?
  • Collaborative leaders working alongside colleagues and key volunteers. Note: People can often reject a good, effective liminal leader because they are making them feel comfortable- because guiding people through grief and loss is tough work.
    • What sources of support and collaboration could you draw upon?
  • Leaders who can manage conflict constructively, who recognize that conflict is a natural part of transition, and who are able to discern whether conflicts stem from fear of change because of grief/loss or because of genuine concern for the welfare of the project/organisation (or maybe a combination of all 3!)
    • How do you respond to change and conflict?
    • What further opportunities for training and development might you need to seek out? (see for example, the Positive Working Together training sessions)

Kerry Scarlett, Jon Pedley and Jo Yair