But my thoughts on leadership have been much wider than just church discipline, and it seems I'm not the only one who is thinking a lot about 21st century church leadership lately (see Mike Friesen's blog here, here and here, for instance).
In my research for this essay I've found some great books, which I highly recommend:
The Fourfold Leadership of Jesus, by Andrew Watson, an Anglican vicar;
7 Deadly Sins of Women in Leadership by Kate Coleman, a Baptist minister;
Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World by Stuart Murray, an Anabaptist and overseer of Urban Expression, a pioneering urban church planting agency;
and Leadership: a Critical Text by Simon Western, a Quaker, and the Director of Coaching at the Management School, Lancaster University.
At this point in my curacy (in my final year) I'm reflecting a lot on what kind of leader I want to be and what kind of leader God wants me to be. I'm thinking about what kind of leadership style I'm inclined towards, and how I might need to push beyond my natural comfort zones to really go where God wants to take me in terms of leading a church as an incumbent. It's quite exciting, really. This is such an interesting time in Christianity in the west. Interesting and very challenging.
I quite like it that the books listed above, the ones I really got a lot out of, are written by people from four different traditions. One thing I warmed to about all four books is their common emphasis on the need for collaboration and community. The 21st century does not take well to domineering, heirarchical leadership, but a multi-voiced, sensitive, listening, serving and enabling kind of leadership is what many are calling for, with vision, attentive to the Spirit. Bring it on!