Leaders Shaping Leaders: The Critical Task of Identity

2007, 6 pp
Robert J. Suderman writes, "One of the insights I gained from my visits to our congregations last year [God's People Now tour] was that we don’t need more leaders. I thought we did. But we have plenty of leaders, and we have people with strong leadership capacity at every level of the church. Before the tour, I used to have this vague notion of a leadership vacuum. There is no vacuum. Leaders there are, and leadership there will be. It is not a question of a lack of leadership; it is a question of leaders for what? You can note that part of my answer lies in the title of my presentation: “Leaders shaping leaders: The critical task of identity.”

"And that leads me to the second major insight that I gleaned from my tour last year, namely that our ecclesial identity and vocation are not clear. Indeed it is more serious than that: there is no consensus that people-hood is an essential vehicle for the redeeming purposes of God in our world."

"And so we face this challenging dynamic which is both a dilemma and an opportunity. There are sparks of strong leadership gifts everywhere but they go hand in hand with an ambiguous, ambivalent, and unclear sense of the necessity for and the purpose of our ecclesial vocation and identity."

Suderman argues, "Ultimately the shaping of leadership for our church will need to address the clarity of identity, i.e. who we are as a people of God, and the imagination for our ecclesial vocation, i.e., what do we lead for." This presentation lifts up a few ideas.

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