I have been listening to teaching on leadership by Dr John Johnson from Western Seminary. He says in a discussion about forming “consultative teams” that he recently formed a team with people in his church that for want of a better word are “apostolic”. He formed what he called an “apostolic team” made up of “apostolic types”.
He says by “apostolic types” he means people who think outside of the box, tend to always be looking out there in a visionary way, the kind of people that the church doesn’t tend to tap into very well, and these are people who often run off to para-church and other ministries because they can’t find a role in the church, the church that is too bureaucratic, or they are too threatening.
He says, “I’ve watched this for years and I’ve seen some of our very best entrepreneurial type of leaders not be able able to find a place. They’ve probably come out of fairly high powered leadership in their own personal lives – most of the time that’s true – they’ve led a corporation or some venture over here, and the mistake we can sometimes make as a church is to say, ‘Oh, Guy, its great to have you here. Say, could you pass out bulletins on Sunday morning?’ Its not that they are too good for that or above that its just that we are not tapping into who they are.”
He goes on, “Recently I called these people together and asked them, ‘I want you to tell us how we can make better use of you'”. He said that has been leading to some very interesting discussions. These guys were told clearly that they had no AUTHORITY to make decisions as a result of this but they were called together to CONSULT on this issue.
I think there is a lot of wisdom for pastoral leaders in doing something like this sometimes.
I’m not sure what came out of that discussion for that church, but the issue is probably something that mid sized churches ought to consider.
Personally, I don’t think local churches are likely to embrace “apostolic types”. The only “apostolic types” that are going to make it in the local church are ones that are extremely patient to play the game and do what is required over the years so that they can finally “earn the right” to be sent out with probably very little practical help, but at least “given permission” to launch out and do something.
What do others think?