Insights from Bishops' Week

  • It has been a stimulating time at Bishop’s Week wrestling with both our spiritual journey of faithfulness and the role of the Extended Cabinet (Bishop, Lay Leader, DS, New Church Development, Treasurer and Assistant to the Bishop/Executive Director for Mission Ministry).  Today under Gil Rendle’s leadership we focus on issues involving “centers and edges” in organizational behavior and hybrid organizations.  Some of the pithy insights that have stimulated my thinking:
  • At the moment we are experiencing the downside of being centralized.  There is a good side and we need both!
  • Bishops, District Superintendents, Lay Leaders (among others) are at the center and yet need to encourage creative experiments and insight from the edges (which is a role fraught with contradictions!).
  • “We have inherited a spider [organization] with a central command.  We [at least some of us] desperately want to be a starfish but that is not us.  We are to be a hybrid organization.” 
  • “The Methodist movement was a reaction against the calmness with which English theologians had accepted and suppressed many of the vital elements of the Christian creed.” (The Cambridge History of English and American Literature).
  • “The movement which now bears Wesley’s name was at first distinctly a church movement owing its impetus to long neglected doctrines of the church.”  (The Cambridge History of English and American Literature).
            Leadership needs to focus on storytelling and being champions of the mission and purpose.  We need to be catalysts and open system mangers (all the while we keep things organized! – no easy action).  We need to be grief mangers as an old way of doing and being church passes.             A last pithy quote from Gil (though I do not think it is original to him):  “Perhaps we are too busy trying to calm waters that God is trying to stir.”