“If we take seriously the idea of congregations being governed like families, then it is worth asking what that might be meant to look like.
First, in seeking to lead and perhaps do things differently in the church, maybe leaders should ask themselves: ‘Am I going about this in a way that I would treat my wife or my children if we were making changes – say, deciding to move house?’ Certainly the family style of management would imply a listening / caring leadership rather than simply expecting a ‘no questions asked’ attitude or ‘rubber stamp’ from the church meeting.
Second, when it comes to training younger men to take on leadership responsibilities in a church, surely a large part of that training ought to include teaching them to become better husbands and fathers. But I’m not sure that features prominently on too many courses of which I know.
Third, there is nothing wrong with large churches. But if churches do expand markedly then the leaders need to think through very carefully how not just to maintain the ‘family feel’ of a congregation, but also how to exercise a leadership style which is not that of a corporate organisation, but that of a family.”
(Photo: Belen L.MÃ©ndez)