“We assume that our followers will have our backs. But that is all a comforting fantasy if you are truly trying to bring change to an organizational system. Whether it is a family, a church, a business, a not-for-profit or a government, all the best literature makes it clear: to lead you must be able to disappoint your own people. But, even doing so well (‘at a rate they can absorb’) does not preclude them turning on you. In fact, when you disappoint your own people, they will turn on you.”
“Sabotage is natural. It’s normal. It’s part and parcel of the systemic process of leadership…Saboteurs are usually doing nothing but unconsciously supporting the status quo. They are protecting the system and keeping it in place. They are preserving something dear to them.”
“Many who sabotage you will even claim that they are doing you a favor by doing so. [Edwin] Friedman describes the ‘peace-mongers’ as ‘highly anxious risk-avoiders’ who are ‘more concerned with good feelings than progress’ and consistently prefer the peaceful status quo over the turbulence of change – even if change is necessary.”
-Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing the Mountains
6 thoughts on “Et tu, Church?”
I wish I knew what you were referring to….
I have a cool email about your daughter I want to forward to you, please send me your email address.
…”who are ‘more concerned with good feelings than progress’ and consistently prefer the peaceful status quo over the turbulence of change.”
I have learned you can either have Progress or Excuses; you can’t have both. I choose progress. Thanks for the message.
As I read this author’s comment, I could not help thinking he was leaving out something vital that distinguishes Christian leadership’s situation from other spheres of leadership. Jesus admonished His followers that in God’s Kingdom, the world’s practice of leadership “lording it over one’s followers” was to be replaced with being a servant to all. This would include in manner and aspiration. Jesus was tender hearted to ward His “sheep” which were/are God’s “sheep”.
Pastoring differs from the leadership of a business enterprise because its ends are different. So, even when there are business aspects of a church to manage, the ultimate aim of shepherding is to feed and tend to the well-being of the sheep and treat their diseases and get rid of parasites and anything that spells harm or ill to them. The Lord promises to conform us into His image, but that means going through trials and developing the Kingdom responses appropriate in representing who Jesus Is and how things work under His dominion. All these thoughts presuppose that the undershepherds of the flock are experienced at detecting enemies and dangerous watering holes, finding fresh feeding grounds, etc. They, therefore, must be in communion with the Chief Shepherd and under His instruction and training themselves.
This supernatural aspect of church leadership seems to be missing in the author’s musings, at least in this quote. He sounds as if he thinks secular spheres and Kingdom spheres are equivalents. Both family and church have a much higher calling, I believe, that of preparing those under their guidance to manifest kingdom principles abroad in their business and other dealings as well. However, the supernatural aspects need to be developed first among the Body of Christ, for that is His chosen means of impacting the surrounding culture. How we love each other is the evidence that God sent Jesus, evidence that will convince the onlookers in the world—or not?
The “or not?” part is where the enemy is determined to undermine and sabotage our success.
Thus, Paul warns us that we”wrestle not against flesh and blood”, but against…the world rulers of this present darkness.” It is not our friends and coworkers, pastors, or lay persons who are our enemies, but rather those influences that blind us to the truth. Only the Word of God, wielded in congruence with the Holy Spirit of God, can demolish those enemies,”casting down arguments that exalt themselves agains the knowledge of God and taking captive every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Sorry for such a long response, Pastor Jim, but since you have probably read his entire book, you know whether or not he addressed these concerns. Thanks for sharing online.
Thx for stirring the pot👍
This really speaks to me this morning. Thanks for posting.