Tuesday, January 09, 2018


Leaders face constant and incredible challenge.  We want to be liked (and loved).  In preserving such desire, we do not want to be found divisive.  Yet, the very nature of leadership is naturally separated from followship...essentially and importantly so.  Such does not mean to create a heavy-hitting boss mentality.  It very much calls, however, for decisive risk-taking that will take the flock into uncharted waters of the next Promised Land.

Edwin Friedman, A FAILURE OF NERVE, pegs the nature and the need of courageous leadership in this day and age.  For decades the objecting fearful have held strong voice in the church system.  As a result, our populace landscape is strewn with "once members" of some church because the life of the place had been choked by the naysayers who were adamant about keeping things the way they've always been. 

What's exasperating to me is how many who lived in the church in opposition to sawing off the limb behind us have seen their relatives bow out of the church scene.  The fearful Law still kills.  It is the Spirit who gives life and He is perpetually changing directions.  We, as believers, are always challenged to adjust and adapt.  The Truth is always Truth.  The Truth is that we have a tendency to learn a few, very few, things in Scripture and stop to hang our hats on that peg.  At that point--the point of failure to keep learning by shifting to protecting--Truth slips out the back door...and withers.

Consider this brief comment by Friedman:

The most important ramification of the herding phenomenon for leadership is its counter-evolutionary effect.  In order to be "inclusive", the herding family will wind up adopting an appeasement strategy toward its most troublesome members while sabotaging those with the most strength to stand up to the trouble-makers.  The chronically anxious, herding family will be the far more willing to risk its losing its leadership than to lose those who disturb their togetherness with their immature responses.  Always striving for consensus it will react against any threat to its togetherness by those who stand on principle rather than good feelings.  The herding instinct will move an emotionally regressed family to a position where it endeavors to accommodate the disruptions of the immature and of those who think in terms of their rights rather than their responsibilities.  Rather than support those who stand tall and take on the most disturbed members, the herding family will adapt to the symptom-bearer (alcoholic, delinquent, substance abuser, gambler, hot-tempered one) and undercut anyone who attempts to define himself or herself against the forces of togetherness.  They often characterize that person as "cruel", "heartless", insensitive", "unfeeling," "uncooperative", "selfish", and "cold".

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