Henri Nouwen says this of christian leadership.
"We looked in to the eyes of the young fugitive and found him inward, fatherless and convulsive. We wanted to prevent ourselves from handing him over to the enemy to be killed; we wanted instead to lead him to the centre of our village and to recognize in this coming man the redeemer of a fearful world. To do this we are challenged to be articulate, compassionate and contemplative.
Is this to much of a task? Only if we feel we have to accomplish this individually and separately. But if anything has become clear in our day, it is that leadership is a shared vocation which develops by working closely together in a community......"
I think that this is great, leadership is a shared vocation which develops by working closely together in community.
How would I see leadership in missional communities? in reality not a lot different to how I see leadership properly excercised in larger communities. It would be articulate, compassionate and contemplative and it would be relational. Leadership still has specific roles to fulfill within the guidelines of new testament teaching, leadership within small communities is entirely necessary. However we would be kidding ourselves if we don't end up seeing little kings building little kingdoms in missional communities.
Damaged leaders will bring their baggage from other churches they have been part of and try to mould new communities that reflect the opposite of their previous negative experience. Communities formed in contrast and negativity towards other communities will always be slightly warped. Leadership born out of contrast, negativity and pain can be disastrous.
I do think their is a role for apostles in the birth and formation of new communities, we need servants who bring wisdom, guidance and help to ensure that the foundations upon which we are building our communities are healthy. I am increasingly seeing a need for apostolic wisdom and servanthood in new communites because some have started building on weak and damaged foundations. Humility will be needed to admit we need apostolic help and the shape of that apostolic help will need remodeling.
An apostle would help deal with the foundational and embryonic issues I have been talking about over the last few days.
Who are the new apostles? What do they look like?