The second day of this consultation on global leadership in community, we started the conversation about global realities – what’s happening in the world today that has an impact on our leadership.
Before I get into some of the questions and thoughts that came up during the day, I should first mention something about the way these consultations work. A good proportion of our work is conducted through conversations in groups around tables, and then by feeding back to the wider group.
Where it is appropriate, I’ve captured the group feedback and shared it here. But, this is by no means the total of our conversations. I’ve not noted here some of the excellent rabbit trails of thought, or single quotes that work well in the context of our discussions but that probably lose meaning when presented in out of context.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop you taking the questions from here and running your own consultation in church or with your leadership colleagues. If you’d like some pointers to get you started I’d be happy to put you in touch with those gifted in this area.
And now, on to today…
We spoke about paying attention to the signs of the times.
In the introduction to the day, six issues were introduced that we have to deal with:
- power and authority
- Globalisation vs nationalism (deglobalisation)
- funding challenges
- changing technologies
- Information overload
Then we thought some more about the issue of power and authority.
In the ethics of Bible translation who makes the decisions? What gets translated, when, for whom, what language?
In, Discourses of Power by Barry Hindess:
- The capacity to act is a part of being a human being. We possess a certain power to do things.
- From an ethical point-of-view comes the question, who has the right to act?
- Then there’s the concept, when many people or groups are involved, who has the presumed right to act? Because of assumed power (nationality, background, status) they have the right to work.
In, The Academy of the Poor, by Gerald West:
The need to listen to…
- people from the communities
- people from organisations
Often there’s a tendency to speak on behalf of others. As though those communities don’t have a voice. Does our presumed right to act mean that we speak for others, rather than speaking with others?
We can only move beyond ‘speaking for’ and ‘listening to’ if we are willing to enter into a ‘speaking with’… (32)
This is what Jesus did in joining us to ‘live with’ us.
Developing our own list
We moved on to create our own list of issues, by answering the following:
- In light of the issues, what other global realities also affect you as a leader?
- How does one or more of these realities affect you a leader, as well as the context in which you provide leadership?
This gave us the following as issues:
- A new generation is coming
- Transition from industrial to information age
- religious fundamentalism
- Need to plan, but slowed down by previous systems
- multiple allegiances to movements
- Understanding of mission in a postmodern world
- Rise of pre-Christian cultural beliefs
- Human migrations and brain drain
- Colonial ideology
- Corruption – the church’s role
- Keep up with constant change
- Global fundraising
- Cultural expressions of power
- Online addictions
We then discussed the areas that have the most impact on us in the Alliance.
We are on an outing for some of tomorrow, so there may not be time to update you on progress. Thanks for those of you who are praying for me while I’m here.