I don’t know which is worse –
In my experience Church people are suspicious of the language of management and business – and I can see why, even if I think the antipathy is sometimes misplaced. In recommending ideas and practices that hail, in part, from that quarter, I am far from doing so uncritically. What worries me more is the extent to which 1. the Church adopts the most bureaucratic practices from the Civil Service and others and 2. uses theological language as a way of avoiding reality…What follows is the first of a series of extracts from my new book, “Creating the Future of the Church”.
“‘Management speak’ is not attractive and it is an easy target for the media and clergy alike. But, in my experience, much of the negativity results from an inaccurate and out-dated understanding of what the best people from the business and management worlds are actually saying. This book aims to look a bit deeper.
When I talk about organisational success I am certainly not advocating the adoption of managerial techniques or more process in the name of ‘good practice’. On the contrary, I think there has been too much of that already and the result has been to increase the Church’s tendency to bureaucracy, making it less nimble, more inward looking and less able to act in response to the way the world is changing.”
“I have acknowledged the unattractive nature of ‘management speak’ but am just as concerned by ‘theology speak’, which is too often deployed to avoid the reality and challenge of leadership and to kick the issue into the long grass. The principal challenge of leadership is not defining or theologizing about it, but doing it…”
For more see “Creating the Future of the Church: a practical guide to addressing whole system change” SPCK September 2013. Order book here
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