Friday, November 1, 2013

Young Leaders

I'm spending the weekend at an ELCA youth leadership retreat.  Teenagers from across the country have gathered around three questions:

  1. How am I experiencing or seeing God's presence?
  2. What is God calling me to?
  3. How will I respond?
The group was visited this evening by Bishop Brian Maas of the Nebraska Synod.  He spoke about innovative leadership and invited the young people to wrestle with another question: "what does leadership look like in the church?"  He referenced Everett Rogers' technology adoption lifecycle and Geoffrey Moore's adaptation, which produced this chart:

Bishop Maas made a strong case for why church leaders aren't called to be innovators or even early adopters, rather leaders are called into the chasm.  He certainly piqued my interest in the topic.  One of the questions I will continue to wrestle with is who are these leaders?  Are they pastors?  Lay staff?  Volunteers?  Church councils?  Consultants?  Elders?  Youth?  Furthermore, do our congregations want pastors who will bridge the gap between the 15% and the 85%?  

Patrick Scriven, blogging for the Pacific Northwest Methodist Conference, doesn't think the church needs more innovative pastors.  I'm curious to know what you think.  

In the meantime, I'm excited to have the rest of the weekend to keep learning from the young people at this leadership retreat.