Our church has always maintained a high value on team leadership. This is a family value, inherited from our network of churches. We often talk about “plurality” and the need for many different perspectives to ensure wise leadership. We cite numerous examples of plurality throughout the Bible, and we also appreciate the practical outworking of plurality in contemporary church life. Thus, we’ve established a conviction that even if plurality is not always easy or efficient, it’s still good.
Over the summer, however, my co-pastor Matthew moved to a different city. We dropped from a plurality of three to a plurality of two: Jason and me. We were still plural (more than one). But we also recognized that our plurality was smaller, older, and more homogenous. Matthew was five years younger than Jason and me. His personality and leadership style were significantly different from mine, and Jason’s. And even though I’m sure we would have been able to muddle forward with the two of us — it didn’t feel as healthy for us, or for the church.
So we started praying and talking with God about how to move forward. And over time, it seemed like the Holy Spirit was directing us to invite not just one (or two, or three) new person (or persons) to join us at the Leadership Table for H2O Kent. It felt like God envisioned us to invite four others to join us: Mark, Daniel, AJ, and Lauren.
To be honest, it was quite daunting to consider the prospect of six of us trying to lead H2O Kent together. Jason, Matthew, and I experienced our fair share of decision-making log-jams when it was just three of us! So why on earth would we double our trouble, with another three leaders?!? Ultimately, it just became a question of faith. And since we believe that God is powerful, even (or especially) when we are weak, we decided to double-down on our faith to step into this new sort of plurality together.
The six of us started meeting together this week to plan and prepare for the new school year. We’re still dialing in the dynamics of our new decision-making processes. But as we go, we are choosing to “Embrace the Inefficiency” that comes with a larger team. We do this because we also believe that it amounts to an embrace of God’s grace and power. And we’re also discovering that there is genuine joy in our group dynamics. I consider it a privilege to do this job with these people. We’re praying for God to do big things through our big team this school year. And I think it’s already starting to happen.