Can we turn times of disruption and change into seasons of growth?
I believe we can, that we have the tools for it (if we look closely) and that with some intention and a willingness to a) use our abundant gifts and then b) get out of our own way, we can see some new things happen. To me, that’s a core statement of faith: our work is not to do/fix/save, but rather to listen for how God might be guiding us into places we can’t yet imagine.
Faithful leadership – whether we’re guiding a church, a nonprofit, or a civic-minded alpaca farm – is needed now more than ever. And many of the assumption and tools that worked (well, sorta) before the pandemic aren’t helping us now. It’s a time to embrace both change and longtime wisdom, and to claim this as a time for something new.
Change is tough, but there’s also room here for excitement and hope. I see lot of new tools and perspectives bubbling up that can ground us in something a bit more timeless, and make our work feel more authentic and meaningful.
The guidebook I held onto as I started in ministry hasn’t always aged well, but as older pages and older assumptions have gone to the recycling bin some new insights have worked their way in. Over fifteen or so years I’ve seen a new manual take shape, one made up of things I’ve learned or things I’ve seen friends and colleagues figure out. Many of these new things are actually pretty simple, but it’s helpful to write them down and share them.
So here’s why I’m writing: though a few bits from the old guidebooks continue to come in handy, I can also see some wonderful things emerging, insights and practices that are hopeful and authentic but also, I’m learning, a bit more layered than the church that I thought I knew.
Thanks for joining this conversation about faithful leadership! In 16 years of ordained ministry, I’ve served Episcopal churches in Ohio and North Carolina and am now the dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland. I’m inspired when this ministry teaches me new things, which is pretty much all the time. I want to share what I’ve experienced and learn from you as well, so that together we can support communities that are sustainable and life-changing.