Phil Potter's book: "Pioneering a New Future - A guide to shaping change and changing the shape of church" (2015:116) affirms the traditional models of ministry and leadership, while he is clear that the changing shape of church "requires a new shape of leader alongside the old." He says that he gives "a range of images that can help us to visualise the new paradigm for leadership."
From restructuring to reimagining
The leaders for a new style church need to be trained to surf the waves not trained to dive into a pool representing a structure. It involves going with Gods flow and in the risky places where structure follows mission.
From attracting to attaching
The leaders for the new style church move like life rafts in the ocean to which people can attach themselves in mini-communities, and not like lighthouses that attract and stand as beacons.
From retaining to releasing and reproducing
The new style leader is like a starfish that can have a leg cut off and both the leg and the body grow again into starfish, unlike the spider who dies when its head is cut off. Huge centralised organisations have found new energy, power and growth when they chose to decentralise; so too for the church, Potter says.
From orchestrating to improvising
The picture here is of a jazz bad where people bring great skills and diverse talents are shared in making great music together in mutual understanding, moving from the orchestral model for making beautiful music which works according to a clear plan and fixed scripts.
From controlling to cultivating
This picture is moves us from the picture of a commanding officer or CEO to a gardener model where the leader cultivates, weeds, nurtures and grows the people for mission.
As you think about these pictures and let Holy Spirit guide your thoughts, Potter invites us into a new style of leadership for ourselves and for the health of the church of the future.