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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