A few weeks ago I wrote a blog piece on New Wineskins for Christians Who Lead - check it out here.
As I have pondered and prayed I have started to write some thoughts on what I think is the best type of leadership as we journey together towards the Promised Land.
In the ‘New Wineskin’ blog I wrote: "This is a moment in history when new leaders and new leadership styles will be defined. The future is a blank canvas! The new breed of leaders need to dream, plan, be visionary and prophetic and lead in a different way to how we did before."
These ten thoughts are: some from experience; some from my own developed style of leadership; and some from what I seek to be as a leader. It is not a definitive list and I think as we journey the list will grow and develop - but it is a start!
Christian leaders are called to do things differently. We can apply Godly wisdom and counsel in our leadership styles. We are people who should be lovers of God and lovers of people.
The new unwritten chapter I spoke about in my New Wineskins blog is beginning to emerge. The Promised Land is in view, new wild ideas are welcomed! This is our moment - God is calling us: to be brave; to be wild; to greater levels of wisdom; to be leaders who lead the leaders!
Let’s go lead…..
Paul Blakey MBE
A video to mark One Year On since England went into the first lockdown has been produced by church and community groups in Halifax and surrounding areas.
The video, a joint initiative of Halifax Elim Church and King’s Church Halifax, aims to provide an opportunity to reflect on our journey through the last twelve months, to thank those who have gone above and beyond, and to help us look forward in hope for the future.
Contributions to the video include: the Bishop of Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs; The Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Ed Anderson; Halifax MP Holly Lynch; CEO of the Calderdale and Kirklees NHS Trust Owen Williams; Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police Angela Williams; Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Nicky Chance-Thompson DL; and schools worker for Christians in Calderdale Schools Chris Mason.
Church communities who have contributed are: All Saints’ Salterhebble; Christ Church Sowerby Bridge; Christ Church Pellon; Calderdale Methodist Circuit; Halifax Elim Church; Holy Nativity Mixenden; King’s Church Halifax and St Augustine’s. Music is provided by both Halifax Elim Church and worship leaders and songwriters Cath and Angus MacGregor.
Community Pastor at Halifax Elim Church and inspiration behind the video, Reverend Marcus Bennett, said, “This last twelve months has been extremely impactful and life changing in so many ways. I had the idea to pull together a video to help communities across Halifax and Calderdale reflect and remember, but also to look forward with a new sense of hope. The contributions from community leaders and the church will be a focus for many as we stand together to mark One Year On.”
Paul Blakey MBE, Operations and Development Manager at King’s Church, Halifax, commented, “The renewed sense of community has become an important part of the last twelve months. One aim of this video is to say thank you, from both church and community, to those who have stepped up and gone above and beyond in so many ways. Twelve months ago most of us thought that this would all be over within a few weeks, yet through these strange and difficult weeks we have seen moments of grace, hope and joy that is at the heart of the message of Jesus, and we hope this video shares some of that.”
I saw this idea one day and thought I would give it a go! Download and print at home colouring books - available on Etsy (click here) or as an email (PDF file) when you donate £3.00 on PayPal (make sure you leave your email address in the NOTES)
The colouring book has 31 pages of high quality colouring images each with a Bible verse (see samples below).
We are living, I believe, in a time of crossing over. We are crossing over from the way we did life before the early Spring of 2020, through the journey and wanderings of working out how to do life within 2020 / 2021 (the wilderness experience) but looking ahead to a new chapter, the Promised Land almost, of how we will do life beyond!
This is not a time to set up camp in the desert. Leadership in this moment requires that we increase our planning, our activities, our strategies, our faith levels, our risks to take the lead. Leadership to not only help others through this wilderness experience but, and more importantly, helping people see and arrive at the Promised Land just over the horizon.
Leadership, now more than ever, requires we are bolder, stronger and coordinated like never before. This is a moment in history when new leaders and new leadership styles will be defined. The future is a blank canvas! The new breed of leaders need to dream, plan, be visionary and prophetic and lead in a different way to how we did before.
As Christian leaders we need to be in tune with God, prepared and tooled up to be at the forefront of taking the new Promised Land. Mark 2:22 talks around not putting new wine into old bottles. God spoke to me about this as we were coming out of lockdown version one. In the rush to get back to normal we need to avoid the danger of pouring new wine into old bottles – of forcing the new way of doing life into the old models.
Leadership of now and the future will require a new level of creativity, vision, wisdom, insight and pioneering – in short new wine in new bottles!
What this means in reality will take a while, months, even years, to work out. This is ok!
2020 tore up the rule book on old style leadership – and good riddance!
With numerous books, YouTube videos, conferences, seminars, DVD box sets on leadership, 2020 has shown us that in a blink of an eye everything can change! Maybe we need to get back to a leadership of simplicity! Leadership that empowers others, celebrates others, equips others and believes and works towards others achieving and doing far greater things than we ever could!
This type of leadership takes guts, but it is the leadership that Jesus modelled when training and equipping the disciples:
He did – They watched;
He did – They helped and served;
They did – he helped and served;
They did – He watched;
This is also the moment, I believe, to seek how we enlarge the place of our territory and influence. We need to be speaking words of wisdom, downloaded to us by the Holy Spirit, to influence our wider communities.
Offer to stand with others, to be in a place of relationship, where God can use you to bring wisdom to other leaders, especially those outside of the church, in your local place. Seek ways to connect strategically with community leaders such as Members of Parliament, Councillors, Local Authority, emergency services, business leaders, etc.
In the words of Isaiah 58:12:
“Your people will rebuild the cities that were destroyed long ago. And you will build again on the old foundations. You will be called the one who repairs broken walls. You will be called the one who makes city streets like new again.”
The new chapter is as yet unwritten. The Promised Land at the time of writing (Early 2021) is still over the horizon, but be challenged that: leadership becomes an interconnected team; we recognise we are painting a new bigger picture; we champion and cheer each other on; we allow a freedom for new wild ideas (and mistakes are allowed and expected!); we should pour the new wine into new wineskins; the new chapter is as yet unwritten but will be defined in the experiences of now.
Paul Blakey MBE
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