George Pell mural removed as deemed ‘offensive’

A mural featuring former Australian Catholic Archbishop George Pell in handcuffs and prison clothes, praying with a demonic figure leaning in over his shoulder, was removed this week because of complaints that it was 'offensive'. Really?! That's what people find offensive? What I find offensive are the crimes George Pell was convicted of: child sexual … Continue reading George Pell mural removed as deemed ‘offensive’

Bucking the herd mentality

Some days I wonder if our society is too individualistic. Other days I wonder if it's not individualistic enough. That's on the days when the herd mentality seems a little too pervasive. People not thinking for themselves but just accepting what authority figures say, even when said authority figures are completely unqualified in the subject … Continue reading Bucking the herd mentality

Priesthood as an outward orientation

What is your understanding of priesthood? The other day I was reading "Did the First Christians Worship Jesus?" by James D.G. Dunn when I was stuck by this simple yet profound statement: "Paul describes his own ministry in characteristically priestly terms (Rom. 15.16), but by doing so he probably was not thinking of himself as part … Continue reading Priesthood as an outward orientation

Shamans, Sages, Priests and Prophets

Some of you may be interested in downloading and reading "Shaman, Sage, Priest, Prophet and Magi: Exploring the Architecture of the Religious Wise Man" by Dominique Beth Wilson, a Grad Student from Sydney University. I came across it earlier this week. I found it had a lot of resonance with some reflections I've previously posted … Continue reading Shamans, Sages, Priests and Prophets

When a leader leaves

This week my wife is organising the farewell dinner for our pastor, Jamie Long, in her capacity as church secretary and lay leader of last resort. While she's been taming the whirlwind I've been observing people's reactions. There's been lots of business, lots of conversation, lots of prayer, and overall I think things have been … Continue reading When a leader leaves

Cultural differences on Church Leadership

One of the challenges facing us as a multicultural church is how to deal with cultural differences on church leadership. For instance, I find asian Australians are much more deferential to church leaders than anglo Australians, with the consequence that they are much less likely to ask questions of our leadership, much less likely to … Continue reading Cultural differences on Church Leadership

Converting Leadership

What sort of leadership leads communities into genuine transformation? One book which got me thinking this month was "A New And Right Spirit: Creating An Authentic Church In A Consumer Culture" by Rick Barger. In the book Rick has a lot to say about adaptive leadership, which he contrasts with technical leadership. Today I would … Continue reading Converting Leadership

Robert Banks on Faith in Leadership

I received an email from Kentigern yesterday advising that Robert Banks will be speaking at the Faith in Leadership conference at the Uniting Church Centre for Ministry in North Parramatta in July. For those not familiar with him, Robert Banks is the Director and Dean of Macquarie Christian Studies Institute in Australia. Previously he was … Continue reading Robert Banks on Faith in Leadership

Social Identity and Effective leadership

I had some insight into why I shy away from leadership within local churches today. I was reading the latest Scientific American on the train this morning, which focuses on “New Insights into Leadership,” and was drawn to some incisive comments by the authors (Reicher, Haslam and Platow) on the nature of leadership and the … Continue reading Social Identity and Effective leadership