Brian McLaren’s book A New Kind of Christian distilled a few thoughts for me. One thought was on the basic nature of the church, therefore the task of the church, therefore the task of the leader. It seems a church, a local body of believers in and followers of Jesus Christ, should organize and structure their corporate activities around three functions:
COMMUNITY | SPIRITUALITY | MISSION
Not necessarily in that order.
Not necessarily in a line, really. More like this somewhat dorky illustration:
They overlap because these activities are not done in isolation from one another. Spirituality fosters community and fuels mission, community the launching pad for mission and spirituality, and mission cultivates spirituality and community. Anyone who’s made a lifelong friend on a short-term mission trip understands this dynamic.
So the task of the church leader is to cultivate an authentic community engaged in spirituality and mission together. Everything should be motivated and informed by these goals.