Beyond Ouija Board Leadership via Relationship (part 5 of 5)

Jon Mullicanby Jon Mullicanouija_vector_free

This is the final post comparing leadership functioning in some churches with the game of Ouija:  questions are posed and decisions made based on hidden forces within and between the members that are not, or will not, be revealed.  Rather than allow mystery to remain the theme of leader interaction, it is possible to bring the forces out into the open and deal with them in mature and thoughtful ways, so that decisions can be made and actions taken that are intentional, thoughtful and God fearing.  The final installment leans into breaking Ouija Board Leadership by establishing solid relationships among one another.

After deepening trust, dealing with conflict and allowing leadership to emerge and establish itself within the group, relationship will be enhanced, yet not ensured.  Purposeful connection will need to be made, especially OUTSIDE of the regular leadership meetings.

So many church leadership groups gather ONLY for the business at hand, whether attending to the corporate body or to corporate responsibilities.  This creates “I know you through the meeting” relationship, which is cursory at best and faulty at worst.  Even by doing the suggested lectio divina and asking the deeper questions to begin a meeting (as suggested in the second installment of this series), unless time is spent together outside of the work time of the group, the deeper relationships needed for the difficult situations that will inevitably rise will not develop.  These outside the work time occasions can be one on one, small groups, or dinners together with the entire group.  Asking spouses to attend some of these gatherings also helps solidify the relational ties.

Purposeful connection will need to be made, especially OUTSIDE of the regular leadership meetings.

One leadership group I know chooses to spend a Friday evening together quarterly with no agenda other than to get to know each other better.  They share a meal or an experience and get to know fellow leaders away from the grind of an agenda, sharing stories that agendas don’t allow.

Another group takes time to “re-form” their leadership team each time a new member joins the group.  They purposefully take time to tell their stories so that the new person can know them and they can know the new person.  This group formation process limits the possibility of mystery movement of the Ouija Board planchette as the group discusses important or controversial matters that require the trust that deepens through relational ties.

More could be suggested to lessen the mystery of movement that comes with Ouija Board style of leadership.  Deepening trust, addressing conflict, allowing long term leadership, and establishing meaningful relationships would move any group far away from the “unknown” associated with decision making via Ouija Board methods. 

So many church leadership groups gather ONLY for the business at hand, whether attending to the corporate body or to corporate responsibilities. This creates “I know you through the meeting” relationship, which is cursory at best and faulty at worst.

Which of these will be most difficult for your group to move toward?

  •                 Deepening Trust
  •                 Addressing Conflict
  •                 Allowing Long Term Leadership
  •                 Building Meaningful Relationships

What other aspects of your group need to be unveiled to limit Ouija Board leadership?

What part will you play to ensure your leadership will stand clear of Ouija Board leadership?

What other aspects of your group need to be unveiled to limit Ouija Board leadership?

What part will you play to ensure your leadership will stand clear of Ouija Board leadership?

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