Since I’ve been studying leadership, I’ve been paying a little more attention to how things are done at my own church. Our church is no different from any other Methodist church in that their main leadership roles are positions which are held for no more than three years – most are only 1 year positions. This is intended to keep things fresh – to keep from getting into a rut that you can’t get out of. But I’m wondering what we’re also missing out on? What are the benefits of leadership which is consistent and enduring?
It seems to me that many of the things a new leader may want to implement, especially big changes, take a little while to get going. And then in order to see those changes succeed, there will need to be a time of working with the change – you know give it a chance to make a difference. When a position is only a short time, it’s tough to endure this type of transition. As soon as things get going in the right direction – someone else (who may have the same passion as the original leader – or more often than not, someone who is frustrated by change and wants things back the way they were.) will come along and change it all up again.
I wonder if the Methodist system is actually hindering the work that needs to happen in the church? Of course in another system, it could go the other way – you could get stuck with a leader for a long time who isn’t doing anything at all or is happy with status quo. Where is the balance? How do you structure a church so that it’s healthy in regards to leadership? Are there other things which could be done to ensure proper Godly tenure of a leader? Scripturally, we see God raise up leaders for specific tasks and eras – I’ve gotta believe that’s still true today, and that He works in and through and around our systems, but I’m wondering if we’ve come to trust our systems so much that we’ve forgotten to be sensitive to God Himself when it comes to our leaders.