Lead On - Resourcing your ministry, leader to leader

Welcome to the latest edition of Lead On, the monthly email with leader-to-leader input from CPAS. If you know others who may be interested in this email, please forward it on or point them towards www.cpas.org.uk/leadon. Thank you.


No, not an injunction to be silent, but an exploration of the place of the introvert in an extroverted world.
I’d better come clean. No surprise to anyone who has met me. I am an extrovert. In fact I am very extroverted! Technically that means I am energized by being with other people.
My wife however is an introvert, she is energised by being ‘quiet’, on her own, with space. In the early years of our marriage it led to some tensions. On a day off I wanted to go out and be with people, she wanted to stay at home and recharge the batteries. You get the picture.
Now what about leadership? The stereotype of a leader is an extroverted (perhaps charismatic) individual who effortlessly connects with many people, whether working a room or speaking to a crowd. Indeed this stereotype is so strong that many introverted leaders labour under the false assumption that they can’t really be a leader, or at least not a ‘proper’ leader. I remember one vicar being released from years of trying to be someone he wasn’t as he was helped to find out how an introverted leader might lead.
In her fascinating book Quiet, Susan Cain unlocks the world of extroverts and introverts as she carefully analyses research on how extroversion became the western cultural ideal, the myth of charismatic leadership, and issues of whether temperament is fixed or fluid. She questions the idea that the best things are done in teams, challenges the place of brainstorming and considers the literal thickness of people’s skins!
Why is this important?
Because we need extroverts and introverts to understand each other and cultivate environments where they can both give of their best. We need to spot not only obvious extrovert potential leaders, but perhaps the less obvious (to some) introvert potential leaders.
I am an extrovert. I know I have been guilty of prejudice against introverts. Too strong a word? Sadly, I don’t think so. Let’s find a better way to fully reflect the glorious diversity of those God calls into leadership.
Lead on

How to not lose heart

Graham Archer, CPAS director of ministry, reflects on Paul’s words ‘I do not lose heart’ and asks how we can stay the same in the midst of all the pressures and demands of leadership.

Twice in 2 Corinthians 4 Paul writes ‘I do not lose heart’. In the surrounding chapters, he not only gives us some practical tips about how to do this, he also explains why it is something of a miracle that he remains in good heart.
Read the full article


God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God
Ken Shigematsu
What can blunt the edge of a Christian leader? Many would argue that unrelenting busyness deserves a place near the top of the list. In this book, Ken Shigematsu, a former business executive, now a pastor in a city centre church in Vancouver, Canada, tells how he was spiritually treading water – ‘I felt like I was losing my soul’ – until he encountered the work and spiritual disciplines developed from ancient monastic life. 
Shigematsu draws on the Rule of St. Benedict and employs various metaphors to describe how a ‘rule’ – or rhythm – offers a framework to enable spiritual disciplines to be integrated into the totality of our lives. The book describes these disciplines and practically reflects on ways they can be woven into our work, rest, play, friendships, sexuality, family life, physical health and money, as well as shaping our response to wider issues of discipleship and mission. The emphasis is on training and purposefulness rather than requiring specific skills or, for instance, a reflective temperament.
Perhaps mindful that we live in an age of pace and, at times, impatience, Shigematsu offers many practical ideas and examples of how this rhythm may be nurtured while also recognising the need for some flexibility. The book is both wonderfully pragmatic and spiritually incisive. He also acknowledges the relational element of a rule of life and the imperative of support from the wider Christian community.
For those who would love to develop a more sustainable and life-giving Christian walk which pervades every area of their life this book will be immensely helpful. Furthermore, because each chapter closes with questions for discussion, the book would make an excellent study guide for, say, a small group.

Additional resource material

TED: The power of introverts
You can listen to Susan Cain speaking about her work in a TED talk. She explains the difference between shyness and introversion, the bias of schools to extroverts, and the introvert leaders who have shaped the world.
Introverts in the Church
Adam McHugh has written a helpful book on introverts in church.
John Truscott
John Truscott’s website contains lots of helpful articles on a variety of issues. Here is a recent one on ‘Administrator wisdom’.


Leadership talk

If there is any focus that the Christian leader of the future will need, it is the discipline of dwelling in the presence of the One who keeps asking us 'Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?'
Henri Nouwen

Next month...

Leadership lessons

Rachel Treweek reflects on leadership lessons learned as an Archdeacon.  


John Fisher offers some video clips to engage and inform.

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