This week I have been thinking about what skills and gifts I can bring to ministry. There are a number of attributes that those called to leadership in the church should be able to demonstrate – for me, love and enthusiasm are two of the key components, as well as the ability to communicate and to handle conflict. But leadership must surely also include the ability to see the bigger picture, or the tenacity to search for it, if it isn’t immediately apparent.
In my current role, no one on the PCC has a clear overview of the changes in the parish, but the clergy probably have a clearer idea than most. The PCC know more than I do about the streets immediately surrounding each of their homes, and the changes and challenges that are happening. But there are few who are able to put that together into a bigger picture. The clergy have contact with people over the whole area, and of course, we benefit from the wisdom and overview of the church leaders in surrounding parishes.
This is quite a responsibility. If the church is there for the benefit of all, then the overview must inform how we use our resources for the wider community. For example, our church gardens could include a children’s area, which would benefit one group, but could be a quiet reflective space, which would benefit another. We need to continue listen to all the voices, even those that are generally silent, so that we can reach the better solution, one that leads us nearer to God’s heart.