One of the privileges of shepherding a Redemption Groups ministry is that I get to sit in on many different groups as a supervisor and see lots of different ways leaders lead. There’s certainly more than one way to do it, and I’m delighted when I see new and surprising ways to do it well. There are also not-so-great ways of leading.
I think the differences between doing it well and doing it not-so-well are more art than science, even though I do think there are some fundamental principles that form the solid foundation that every skillful leader builds upon.
By way of analogy, there’s a huge difference between an amateur artist in a high school art class, determined to prove his originality and flaunt his self-expression, and a professional artist whose work hangs in a fine art gallery. One is awkward, the other is refined.
Ironically, the amateur is more likely to produce an imitation work—despite his determination to be original—and the professional is more likely produce something original with perhaps less preoccupation with originality. The professional has probably spent more time learning the tools of the trade, the science of light, color, shape and texture, and appreciating other artists’ work.
In the end, some works of art just work; others don’t. And it isn’t by chance that the professional tends to know what works.
Recently, I watched “professionals” lead a Redemption Group. The structure of the discussion was simple; the fundamentals were tight. In fact, it was so simple, it caught me by surprise.
The co-leaders prompted discussion simply by asking participants to share what impacted them from the reading. And the group responded. Entry gates opened. Pursuits ensued. Tears, comfort, encouragement, sin and gospel all tumbled out from all around the room. It just worked. One co-leader worked from spiritual gifts resulting in a more patient, methodical approach while the other worked from spiritual gifts resulting in more edge and spontaneity. The harmony between them was simply beautiful—a Spirit-led work of art.