What is transformational leadership?
The emerging Evangelism and Growth strategy, God For All, describes a renewed focus on evangelism and church growth in the Methodist Church in Britain. This will necessarily involve a great deal of change – and great change requires great leaders. If you are a minister, you lead people in worship and mission. If you are a church steward, you have a leadership responsibility for making church happen. If you ever host a Bible study, teach children in Sunday school or contribute to the Circuit Plan – either by preaching yourself or by recruiting and organising other people – you are exercising leadership in your church or circuit.
Leaders long to see their churches and communities flourish and start to look more like the Kingdom of God. But this has its challenges: it can be hard to find people just to make the regular stuff happen. And there is so much to do right now that it can feel impossible to think about the future. Perhaps someone just threw a hissy fit because a Messy Church volunteer moved the communion table. Or maybe the church roof has started leaking.
The Evangelism and Growth Team are seeking to promote and develop transformational leadership in the Methodist Connexion. Transformational leaders are able to work with others, building teams and leading them well. They understand that change can cause conflict and they help communities work through the process. They may not seek out conflict but they aren’t frightened of it either. Transformational leaders are able to see a vision of a preferred future: they can see a little of what the Kingdom of God might look like in their community and they bring people together to work toward it. Transformational leadership is about healthy, Christ-shaped use of power and influence in Christian communities to bring about God’s preferred future.