Leading Forward Around the Two Natures of the Church
Updated: May 19, 2022
Around the two natures of Body Life & Business Life leaders must function from both perspectives. This blog gives some initial insights and has coaching questions for keeping the wheel of leadership moving onward and upward.
A leader in the life of the church realizes the two natures of its culture - Body life and Business life. Although most leaders want to acknowledge that the body life trumps business life neither can be ignored. So, how does a leader coordinate the turning of the leadership wheel so that activity does not sway back and forth on one side or the other and momentum increases?
Look at the diagram below with the respective two sides of leadership.
The Body life sections involves Faith Creativity of the people as they listen and responding to God calling and invitation around various aspects of ministry. Leadership helps encourage, listen, and identify opportunities and responses to faith creativity in the body.
Body life focuses on Effectiveness. Leadership effectiveness does not focus on right verses wrong but on holy verse unholy. In that sense it is about the transformational development of the fulness of Grace in people. It moves forward seeking maturity within the body as a whole to adapt faith behavior for contextual relevancy.
Body life underscores Leading the people by serving and equipping them for
shared service. Leading keeps a pulse beat on people’s self-awareness, people’s journey of faith, and people’s sense of belongingness and eternal preparedness.
This continues around the wheel to the next spoke. Leadership in and through the Body life elevates the questions of What and Why. These Mission and Vision questions keep the body of people from “perishing” (Prov. 29:18). Leadership and church teams would benefit by making sure these questions function as the standard governing the discussions and decisions of any agenda.
The other side of the wheel deals with the functioning and guidance of body life behavior. This is the Business life of the church. Notice that these spokes correspond to the Body life side because they must work together for keeping the wheel of ministry and life going forward rather than back and forth.
Business life must be practical. Practical sense compliments faith creativity (innovative trust in God). Practical sense helps leadership, and their churches make sure great ideas of faith and life can actually touch the road. It keeps ministry from becoming so “heavenly minded that they are no earthly good" (or can’t get to be earthly practical). Leaders keep momentum moving forward but without being reactionary. Steven Covey states that we must be response-able rather than reactionary. Practical sense helps develop a culture more of this sort.
Business life calls the church to be Efficient because there are only so many volunteer hours within the life of any church. Leadership must manage efficiently now more than any other time in history. Because of the busyness life of the church and the over involvement of people, leadership must take seriously the continued momentum through efficient servantude.
Business life requires the filter of sound management. Managing the activities is the responsibility of leaders. Momentum continues and increases through ministry and people’s lives by leaders trained and functioning in management on this side of the wheel. The Next Steps Forward Coaching Leadership toolbox (video sessions available for you) addresses aspects of management:
· How to cultivate discussion while not having everyone talking past each other
· Caring enough to have important conversations without fight or flight
· Structuring Team mandates, goals, and responsibilities
· Design and communicate Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals - they leak every 30 days
Business life shores up further support on this side of the wheel with two other key leadership questions - Who and How. The Who and How questions need to be part of every leadership, staff, or team meeting by having agendas delegate great ideas. These practical questions strives to keep discoveries, innovation, and common service from falling through the cracks.
One final thought before some coaching questions for your reflection. Notice that in this diagram, neither side is above or below the other. This is deliberate because one side is not more important than the other. Likewise, the point is keeping progression efficient and effective in moving onward and upward.
1. Where do you most often find yourself - Body life side or the business life side of the wheel?
2. What would you need to do to look from a dual side perspective for the next month of leadership?
3. What challenges would there be for you in doing this dual sided approach?
4. Describe the benefits to the church, teams, or staff that you aid in leadership by using this view.
5. What next steps could you take towards bringing yourself and other leaders moving the wheel forward?
by Joel A. De Boer
January 15, 2022