I remember hearing a key speaker one time talking about leadership saying that “if we can just get it right… then there is no telling where the outcomes might go”.  It was enticing to hear that.  It offered the opportunity of progress, and destiny, and upgrade.  But, my spirit at the time flinched.  Something didn’t seem quite kosher in the statement.

As I think about what he said, and as I muse over the behaviours of churches, and speculate about leadership (my own and others), I have wondered about the validity of “getting it right”.  Can we ever “get it right?”  Is it a case of adjusting the balance, twisting the dial, calibrating the levers, deepening the bass…if you know what I mean?  Is it simply that or is leadership something more mysterious, more complex? Is there another dynamic at work in churches that isn’t “corporate”?

I say all that because as I read the pages of the NT, the interaction of God with His people moves from organizational reality to familial reality.  He identifies Himself as “Father” and identifies us as “children” and invites us to consider each other as “brothers and sisters”.  It’s not the only dynamic used but it’s a powerful metaphor to describe  the working reality.

I say all this because of two phone calls I just fielded.  One call was from a work associate enquiring about a project we are working on in our organization.  The discussion was friendly and inquisitive but she was asking me as “boss” to make a decision.  We talked about the details but at the end of the day she wanted to know what I wanted done.  And then ten minutes later my adult daughter phoned enquiring about a family matter for this weekend.  The discussion was similar and yet totally different.  The corporate structure was nowhere evident, it had a familial dynamic.

Churches at times need to use both.   I think there are deep ditches on both sides of the road and you can get caught in either.  But you do need to use both.