Are your people objects or your subjects?

objects or subjects

Some leaders treat their people like objects.

Some leaders treat their people like their subjects.

Some leaders treat their people like both.

This is predicated on their assumption of superiority.

What if we were equals on a team working together?

This doesn’t mean their can’t be roles and ranks. But it does mean there can always be mutual respect.

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7 Responses

  1. terri jo says:

    Yes, leadership: teacher is student, student is teacher. And all can voice questions and insights. Imagine that, total chaos!! Most leaders would shudder

  2. terri jo says:

    I received a copy of The Liberation of Sophie on Friday. So far, I am gobsmacked by the beauty, deep waters, and at the same time, your expression of anguish and relief when you withdrew from the prison of religion. Thank you! I have only digested a dozen or so themes and accompanied drawings. But more importantly: through your gratitude of reconnecting with your creativity and wildness, I discovered I can love my new friend Jesus, AND still be wild, continue to listen to rock and roll, work with my herbal remedies, admire and contemplate the power of our crystals, light my sage smoke and pray to the Great Mystery, and let the occasional F-bomb fly!!!!!

  3. Thanks Terri Jo! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  4. Caryn LeMur says:

    I think the challenge is the ‘vision’ – if articulated by the senior ranking person, then, everyone falls in line and supports the ‘vision’ (or the goal).

    It is simply good business.

    If the church wishes to be more than a business, then, it has to allow multiple ‘visions/goals’ happening in multiple directions, increases and decreases of manpower/resources, and perceive the Body of Christ as a living organism having only one head (Jesus) and multiple communication paths.

    Thus, the pastor (or elder) can often be bypassed by Jesus’ giving direction to others … and this has to be viewed as normal.

    Thus, the leader of a Living Body begins by asking questions: “Where is the Spirit leading you?”
    “How can I facilitate you having success within or outside of our church?”
    “Who also feels this need/direction?”
    “What rooms/office space do you need to accomplish this?”

    The leader then supplies resources (office, room during the week, books that may help), and remains available as a consulting resource during the formation time.

    In a Living Body model, the leaders would launch a thousand ships, expect many failures (and much growth), and teach people that it is ok to try again and again.

  5. I like your questions Caryn because they are about the people, not some ideological notion imposed upon them… which is what “vision” usually is in the church.

  6. Shazza tha dazzla says:

    You nailed this cartoon David! Thank you. I immediately went back in my mind to a church where we became subjects in a twisted social experiment. Initially we were welcomed into the church like we were long lost family. Then things started to get murky. One service “God” suddenly told the pastor’s wife to call out most members of the congregation, one by one, and then throw their counselling-room confessions at them and say it’s time to repent. There was pain and outrage and she later apologized and then of course “God” quickly started telling us all to stop being angry and unforgiving, and show more respect for our leaders.

    The couple who couldn’t pay their bills and turned down a day’s work to go to a favored conference was stood up and applauded. The family who was so busy going to meetings they had family time in their car was stood up and applauded. The couple who regularly attended a second church were told to leave ours for their lack of submission. The beautiful church elder who regularly comforted us in our confusion was publicly branded a gossip. Any discussion of concern was said to be gossiping. The church dwindled to a handful before the pastors moved on. They’re still in ministry nearly 20 years later and I’m celebrating my survival!

    There’s something so wrong with an organisation that can distort the normal social rules to that extent.

  7. True Shazza. I know a lot of stories like that. Thanks for your comment.

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