Discerning Leadership: co-operating with the Spirit of God.
This is the title of the first booklet in a new series being launched by Grove Books in June. It's a series on leadership! And for the series, Grove is in partnership with CPAS.
I'm excited by this first title by Bishop Graham Cray, who recently moved from being Bishop of Maidstone to heading up Fresh Expressions.
All too often, he argues, the 'vision process' in a church can involve the 'hero' leader 'going up the mountain' like Moses, and coming back with his vision. Cray proposes a different model, one which involves more consciously listening to the Spirit of God and a more consultative process, but which is also more flexible, and open to the awareness that maybe a clear vision is not God's agenda at the moment when we think we need one! I'd like to think that women tend to use a more 'post-heroic' leadership style - but then I don't believe in gender stereotypes, do I?!
Perhaps it's fair to say that most women are less likely to adopt a 'heroic' model of leadership, but we need as much as men do to listen to God and be sensitive to his spirit. A consultation process approach could be just as detached from God's agenda as a 'God has given me the vision' approach.
You can hear Graham Cray talking about this subject on one of CPAS' podcasts. And you can hear him talk about 'discerning leadership' at the Leadership series launch event at LICC in London on Tuesday 8th June, 6.15-8.30. More information is available on the LICC website (scroll through 'events' to June).