Thursday, June 02, 2005

the community, the novitiate, and leadership

we're reading the 'new monasticism' book in our discipleship group.
we're up to chapter 6 - "Intentional formation in the way of Christ and the rule of the community along the lines of the old novitiate." the chapter deals primarily with ways of entering into a community of disciples. expectations (demands?), responsibilities, commitments, obligations, renouncing old ways/things, etc.

in our discussion last night the chapter also raised questions about leadership and community formation. questions that came up:
how can we have a flat structure and still move together with intentionality?
who will lead?
how do we identify leadership gifting?
what kinds of leadership are there?
who is gifted in what ways?
(personality, character, recent/past experiences, formal training, holiness, etc.)
how do we hold leaders accountable?
how do leaders hold the wider community accountable?
what leadership structure is already in place at Communality? (is it working?)
is there enough intentionality about discipleship at Communality?

(ie. are we given enough ritualistic gateways to inspire deeper commitment?)

we talked about how Communality had evolved over 6 years - starting with the pioneers, self-selected leadership, newcomers distinguishing themselves with faithful servanthood, 'visitors', tourists. we wondered what stage of development we were at as a community and wondered if different stages require different (styles/forms of) leadership. we wondered about how we can visualize our community in terms of the visitor-novitiate-leader concepts - concentric circles?, color spectrum? (light to dark), 3-D cone (ala roxburgh in the "missional church" book ). can we avoid hierarchy? should we avoid hierarchy?

anyway, no real answers to be found in this post. just questions.


ryan k said...

I am also wondering about how to celebrate and memorialize beginnings and endings and transitions. There is a sense in which we tend to shrug when asked, "Who belongs here?"

geoff said...

we really need this, ryan. our shrugging might be a nice way of acknowledging a way of community that is 'soft at the edges' (think bonded set/centered set), but we certainly need to valorize belonging and creat ways of marking, as you say, beginnings and endings.
thanks for adding the question.