This series is focused on The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Brafman and Beckstrom. Come check it out every Wednesday in June!
- Part I: To Consolidate or Decentralize?
- Part II: Starfish Culture needs Starfish Churches
- Part III: Starfish Churches are Leaderless
Perhaps pastors should imagine that they are going to have three more years in their parish as pastor—and that there will be no replacement for them when they leave.
*blink* whoa. Powerful scenario. In essence, it is asking what if you had to turn a spider church (a hierarchical church) into a starfish church or else it would die. Hmm…what would this mean?
If they acted as if this were going to happen, they would put the highest priority on selecting, motivating, and training lay leaders that could carry on as much as possible of the mission of the parish after they left. The results of three sustained years of such an approach would be quite significant. Even revolutionary.”
Absolutely. This form of ministry focus gels nicely with our Starfish churches discussion on leadership. By empowering the laity and removing hierarchical leadership, a revolution will certainly occur in the church.
Better to give one year or so to one or two men [sic] who learn what it means to conquer for Christ than to spend a lifetime with a congregation just keeping the program going.
I’m definitely not with this approach to concentrate knowledge and leadership on a few disciples. I know that’s the way JC went, but a mass appeal is stronger for decentralized churches (which is what you’d end up with) rather than replacing the pastor with a few pastors, who would be stuck in the same power-over system.
That said, you do need catalytic leadership, and perhaps that’s what Ogden is getting at. You do need a few people who can turn the tables upside down in a structured way, and then let them step aside. Finding that sweet spot of leadership is tricky, but necessary in the Brave New World we are in.
Your turn: if you had only three years left in your parish, either as pastor or knowing your pastor will be gone, what would you do?
Thanks for considering the question, and welcome to our visitors!