At last week’s Bishop’s Retreat, Gilbert Rendle talked about the change that’s taking place in the world and in the church as well as the leadership that’s needed, as a result of the cultural change.
At the end of his presentation on Tuesday evening, Rendle challenged attendees to discover the “ten percent” (the amount of content most people can absorb from a seminar) that they needed to take home with them. After some reflection, here’s what I think I’m taking away from the retreat.
I thought the presentation on cultural change that’s going on both in the world and in the church was helpful, but I want to focus on the content from Rendle’s presentation on leadership, that is, how to lead change in the midst of a changing world.
Leadership vs. Management. Rendle talked about the difference between management and leadership. While both are necessary, most leaders were simply trained to be managers, to keep things running smoothly.
Management is primarily responsible for the present moment, for doing things right. Leadership is responsible for the future and change, for doing right things. While there’s been a growing amount of emphasis on the importance of leadership in recent years/decades, Rendle noted that …
We are asked for leadership at a time when we are rewarded for management. But you cannot do leadership without disrupting management.
So, while I certainly want things to run smoothly, I also realize that part of my job is to “stir the pot” (see my 2006 sermon for more on Stirring the Pot).
The Leadership Challenge. There is a disruptive component to leadership that makes leadership especially challenging. Rendle stated …
One of our tasks is to make people appropriately uncomfortable.
Of course, not everyone will go along for the journey, so Rendle offered a warning …
If you have a ‘no person left behind’ policy, you have already determined that you’re not going to do anything!
Leaders and churches must be willing to do the right things even when there’s resistance, because the alternative is simply to do nothing, or at least nothing worthwhile or life-changing.
Rendle also offered four leadership skills in his final session. But before I reflect on those, I need to review the video of the sessions, which are expected to be posted to the conference website this week.