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A Discussion of Messianic Judaism, the Emerging Messianic Jewish Paradigm, and Related Leadership Issues from the Preoccupied Mind of Rabbi Stuart Dauermann, PhD.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Confidence: The Wonder Drug

This is a short lead article for my congregational Newsletter, "Ohr Chadash." I think the advice it cites is good advice for all of us who are leading organizations, congregation, social systems of one kind or another. I hope ite helps some of you.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter is the Class of 1960 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is a nice Jewish girl who really knows what she is talking about.

One of the things she talks about is confidence—not personal confidence, but organizational confidence. She says that leaders of organizations, and by implication, congregations, need to be confident that their people can themselves exercise leadership.

She says that the most essential ingredient in leadership is not self-confidence, but confidence in others: “Leaders must believe they can count on other people to come through. . . . when leaders believe in other people, confidence grows, and winning becomes more attainable.”

She goes on to talk about how leaders deliver confidence. She says it takes three things:

(1) espousing high standards in their messages,

(2) exemplifying these standards in the conduct they model, and

(3) establishing formal mechanisms to provide a structure for acting on those standards.

I don’t know about you, but this seems like excellent advice! What do you think?

At 2/18/2007 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do I think? Practically, her advice is a necessity for any organization larger than one if it is to have any chance of success. It is Scripturally sound too. One case in point is Yitro's advice to Moshe concerning appointing judges to ease his burden. Even Yeshua relied on folks to get things done. Some examples that come to mind are retrieving the colt for his entry into Jerusalem and the preparations for the Pesach meal. What is more, even Hashem Himself relies on others to accomplish his work. Just look to the prophets and even to Yeshua himself. What do I think? I think she is a nice Jewish girl who knows what she is talking about.

At 2/22/2007 6:06 AM, Blogger by the bay said...

The only reservation I have here for a church context (I'm in UK) is if structuring actually prevents lay ministries emerging. We have structures across a spectrum here in a range of denominations, at one end a formal denomination which won't really permit any lay involvement without seriously heavyweight selection processes and selection conference. The congregations I've visited have been littered with those who didn't make it, and are now lost for what to do - as are the ministers who wanted to nurture their leadership gifts. At the other end you have emerging church where people can just get out and innovate with accountability to a couple of older Christians they know and trust. We have no MJ community in SW England, so I have no experience in that context other than my own household. In an emergent situation recently I was cheerfully told my innovation, though effective, was breaking every regulation in the established church! I think this was a slight exaggeration, but confidence from where I'm standing means allowing the fringe to innovate as well as providing structured routes for leadership development and nurturing in the mainstream organisation.

At 2/22/2007 8:08 AM, Blogger Stuart Dauermann said...

You said: "The only reservation I have here for a church context (I'm in UK) is if structuring actually prevents lay ministries emerging."

Of course that can and does happen. But equally of course it does not necessarily follow that struccture and hierarchy squelches individual development and expression. I studied here in the U.S. with Robert Banks, a major proponent of the House Church model and someone who decries hierarchical church/congregational structures. I also studied with Bobby Clinton, Professor of Leadership, who believes that leadership selection and development is one of the six primary tasks of God's leaders, and who is a highly structured man. My point is, Bobby's highly structured nature does not negate his passion for developing people--in fact, he is also a world-class leader in developing giftedeness in people.

As for the Emergent Church, I am afraid I may be generationally out of step. On the other hand, one of my age-peers, British-born Anglican Church Growth specialist Eddie Gibbs is quite conversant in and appreciative of the Emerging Church movement, so one doesn't have to be young to be "with it." My reservation is that I wonder if there is not a lot of trendiness afoot.

I agree with your concern for "allowing the fringe to innovate as well as providing structured routes for leadership development and nurturing in the mainstream organisation." In fact, Paul Pierson, former Dean of the School of World Mission (now School of Intercultural Studies) at Fuller Seminary, and a mission Church history specialist, says that innovation and renewal in the Church always starts at the periphery.

Blessings. And God save the Queen.


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