Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Women Leaders, Innovators, Groundbreakers

John Maxwell, leadership guru, defines leadership, simply as influence. Of course, influence assumes authority and the question is, where does authority comes from. Some authors, speaks of three kinds of authority, namely, task, teaching and spiritual authrority.

Yet, we are living in a time where authority is challenged. We are living at a time where the traditional spaces of authority are challenged.
Family is not what it used to be. And ironically, the challenge to the traditional family, comes from women. Sociologist Manuel Castells in His Book, The Power of Identity spends a whole chapter on the what womanist movements and feminism has challenged the traditional family.
For Castells, the challenge comes from two forces, i.e. The change in the division of labour, and Feminist movements, which, since the 1960s changed the consciousness of women. 
This is not an accusation.  It is a historical fact that the traditional family, in, particular patriarchy, is challenged. The question is w
hat are the consequence of this? For Castells, 1)      A backlash to recreate and romantizise the past. (Fundamentalism- Family values) and 2) A violent abusive response from men, who don’t know how to respond- in a new world. We see this in a spike in domestic violence.
This calls for a new kind of leadership.

There are two kinds of leadership (according to Floyd McClung), i.e functional, hierarchical, organisational (linked to roles on org)
He explains, 
Hierarchical leadership is based on position, title and power. It is a command and control model of church that operates like a top-down company. Management models of how to lead church break down at this point. The church is an organic, reproducing movement not a highly structured company. To follow a formal process to recognize that the system of having leaders in the church is not inherently wrong. But human tendency is to institutionalize the way we do things. When that happens we make the maintenance of established structures our focus rather than risk taking advancement and innovation. Without apostolic leadership the church is unlikely to risk at all, and when it does, it lacks the conviction and commitment to sustain 
(McClung, Floyd (2011-08-05). You See Bones, I See an Army: Changing the Way We do Church) (Kindle Locations 762-767). New Holland South Africa. Kindle Edition.

Then, he also calls for apostolic leadership, which is visionary and bold. He explains
Apostolic leaders are groundbreakers and strategists who initiate new endeavours to ‘go where no one has gone before’. They work in the market place as well as in the nations. They are entrepreneurs and innovators. Ideally, apostolic leaders focus their creative energies, not just on the activity of creating something new, but on the ultimate goal of pioneering – and that is reaching and gathering followers of Jesus who in turn are discipled to reach others also. The ultimate purpose of the apostolic gift is gathering those who come to faith in Jesus into vibrant, reproducing, obedient communities of faith.
(McClung, Floyd (2011-08-05). You See Bones, I See an Army: Changing the Way We do Church) (Kindle Locations 789-793). New Holland South Africa. Kindle Edition.

Our church but also our context, calls for prophetic vision- for leaders coming from a different perspective, for groundbreakers, strategists….they are out there in the market, in the school, building a movement of Jesus followers, in a new world. It seems that its women who understand these, moreso, who take the lead.