Leading One Church at a Time
LEADING ONE CHURCH AT A TIME
From Multi-church Ministers to Focal Ministers
Bob JacksonA new model of leadership: from ‘multi-church ministers to ‘focal ministers’
This booklet will be of considerable interest to all who worship in multi-church benefices, and especially the ministerial teams. The problems of such situations are well-known, and are increasing along with the age-profile of congregations and ministers. Mission initiatives are frequently neglected, as there is a striking inverse correlation between the number of churches in a benefice and the amount of effective mission that occurs. Bob Jackson’s solution is ‘Focal Ministry’ - finding different people to lead individual churches: people who are not necessarily ministers, but who are embedded in the local church community and who have sufficient leadership skills to work autonomously. He supplies some statistical evidence to show that this model may have a dramatic effect on church growth (or at least arrest decline). A few dioceses have adopted the model with some initial success. The book is strong on management and practical issues, but I found it rather theologically light, with no scriptural foundations. It is also vague on training needs - will all local lay leaders be capable of securing godly worship which meets local needs? But it is nonetheless an important contribution to any debate on the future of our Church, and therefore warmly recommended for careful consideration.
Reviewed by Peter Clough
Church and Ministry Development