Monday, January 21, 2008

Alan Roxburgh

Way back when I was a theological student at Carey Baptist College – I was introduced to a great book by Alan Roxburgh – Reaching a New Generation. As it quiet at in the office at the moment and before the rush start for the New Year I have been taking mini retreats to read – This morning I just finished reading the first four chapters of Roxburgh new work – Missional Mapmaking, which is available to download over at Alleleon. For me chapter four has helped me make sense of a lot of what I see going on in my head and in the average Church at the moment, Roxburgh want to encourage in light of the changes we are facing a re –evaluation of leadership. Many forms of so called leadership are mechanistic, and reduce people to figures to be manipulated. Pastoral leadership has in many cases lost any pastoral functions at all as people's needs are overlooked in the name of herding and organising. Roxburgh uses the image of herding cats as a more fruitful and missional approach to leadership, while this is problematic and difficult I wish more people in pastoral ministry would consider it. Last week I had a conversation with a person fresh out of the UK who has been checking out churches here in Nelson – they visited some and found herding and organising over the top – in the end they have settled on an Anglican Church that looks more like a colony of cats that and army or Japanese Business – they feel welcomed and will probably stay there. For these people Roxburgh's image makes much more sense.

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