this is part 2 in a 5 part series i’m doing here on co-pastoring & shared leadership. if you missed it, you can watch the first video conversation with my friend & refuge teammate karl wheeler.
one of the things we talk about in this piece is the difference between roles & relationship. this is a place i think needs the most work when it comes to considering co-pastoring. if we focus on roles, then we look at “who can do this or that function” instead of looking at the bigger picture–relationship.
through relationship we learn each other’s giftedness, strengths, weaknesses, and figure out how to live and learn together. if we focus on roles, it becomes a rectangle on an org chart that needs to be filled with someone with those same skills. that means that if a person in that rectangle is called out of the community for some reason that we’d have to find someone to “replace” them in their role or function. this is so typical, really, in most every organization. we assume that we need someone who can do this or do that as opposed to finding people dedicated to learning to live and love and lead alongside one another in community.
this is a really hard shift to make when we are focused on building churches instead of cultivating communities. building churches often tends to point toward task, objectives, and strategies. cultivating communities, however, is about creating containers to practice the ways of Jesus. in this model, relationship & commitment to practice in community is more important than role and function.
this sometimes means there are gaps in filling the needs and that some of the work won’t get done in the way we hope for. in different ways over the years this has happened at the refuge with music & kids & administrative stuff. but instead of recruiting for it outside of us, we live with what we have in our community & respect the gap. it’s not easy, we feel the absence sometimes, but we try to learn to live with what we’ve got instead of working to find someone who can fit that “role” just to fill a spot that seems like it’s supposed to be filled.
the pushback to this usually is “but we need to make sure that we have people who can do this or that or otherwise the ministry won’t work.” my response is that maybe the part that needs to be learned isn’t how to make sure we have every angle covered but rather to trust, wait, and learn how to live without certain things together. in all kinds of ways, i think that’s leadership.
and practice isn’t about perfection. it’s about practice.
i also love how karl says that after all his years of seminary & pastor-training he had never even one class on how to be a friend, the actual skill that’s really needed in life together in missional community. shared leadership, to me, is somehow about real friendship.
so here you go, another 10 minute or so conversation about co-pastoring:
what do you think of this idea of putting relationship above function when it comes to shared leadership?