The notion of being a courageous pastoral leader invokes thoughts of the television show ‘Yes, Minister’ where senior public servant Humphrey Appleby causes government minister Jim Hacker to reconsider his latest intention by commending it as courageous.
There is an uncertain and vulnerable space in being courageous.
Will Willimon contrasts costly courageous leadership with what he terms ‘amicable caregiving,’ a state of operations where comfort and the status quo are maintained at the expense of growth toward health.
A church that wants to stay the same for reasons of comfort has forgotten that it is accountable to God, and has forgotten that healthy life and growth will always bring change.
From Leading With The Sermon:
No faithful church is maintained without constant reformation, and no reformation has ever occurred without Spirit-induced preaching and leadership that inevitably produces discomfort in the people and in their leader.
A courageous pastoral leader, in service to the needs of the church,
* connects the congregation to it pain;
* helps it conceive of its possibilities;
* challenges it to step our of its current attitudes that rob it of a future;
* accompanies the organisation through the resulting chaos; and
* supports the reframing and learning that’s required for the transformation.
Preaching can be an indispensable contributor to each of these leadership tasks.
William H Willimon, Leading With The Sermon, Fortress Press, 2020, pgs 32-33.