Happy February, everyone! Time for round two of my monthly newsletter.
Idea worth considering
Sustainability. When we hear this, it’s usually about money or the environment, which are both their own competing ways of “going green.” However, thanks to our Latin American partners in Brazil, I’ve found a definition from Domingo Armani that has left me thinking: “Sustainability is the capacity of an organization to create, develop, and replicate its social value in a lasting manner in continuous dialogue with its context.” Or as we might call it in church, discipleship. It has been powerful for me to so clearly link sustainability (our ability to continue making lasting impact throughout the generations) with our ability to create, develop, and replicate disciples in a different time. When so many churches or members are worried about survival in terms of finance, keeping up the building, or finding members, returning to the basics of discipleship is a great place for any congregation to start.
If you’re interested in going down this rabbit hole like I did, there are some great resources from the Lutheran Seminary in Brazil and the LWF, available in both English and Spanish.
Resource worth reading
The Missional Leader by Alan Roxburgh and Fred Romanuk
This is one that I’d read in seminary and pulled off my bookshelf over the holidays intending to skim and ended up reading the whole thing. While you have to get used to an overuse of the “missional” buzzword of yesteryear, the thing that got me hooked was how it talked about leading in times of discontinuous change, and how unfortunately relevant it felt. According to the authors, developmental change is the kind of change that draws a straight line from where things were to where things are. Discontinuous change is a time of upheaval and transformation, when there is no straight line from where we were to where we are now. They write, “In a period of discontinuous change, leaders suddenly find that the skills and capacities in which they were trained are of little use in addressing a new situation and environment.” Sound familiar?
Even though it’s over 15 years old, I took away a lot from this that felt useful. Like anything, you’ve got to sort through for the nuggets of wisdom, but particularly in how leaders can chart a path through discontinuous change, this is worth a read if you’re looking for that kind of a resource.
Thanks for reading!
If you’re interested in a conversation about what sustainability looks like in your context, if you’ve got a great idea I can help find funding for, or if you just want to commiserate about why on earth the baseball lockout is still going on, please reach out!
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