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Liminal Leadership: Transforming Leaders for a Changing World

  • Course Dates: Mon 10 November 2014, 12:00 pm to Thu 13 November 2014, 4:30 pm

This conference is for all clergy and lay people who exercise leadership in church, charity, educational and commercial settings. It is also useful for those who act as trainers and coaches.

The conference will be useful for those exercising leadership in the midst of increasingly diverse roles and models of ministry (e.g. pioneer ministry, Fresh Expressions, New Monastic Movement, Self Supporting Ministry and in urban and rural settings as well as suburban settings). This plurality and diversity makes systemic thinking even more crucial at this stage in the life of the church to understand better how these roles relate.

Contact Alison Ogden for all booking enquiries
aogden@sarum.ac.uk  |  01722 424826  |  01722 424800 (main reception)
Download an application form

Liminal Leadership

Liminal Leadership. Two words which don’t appear in the gospels, and yet which capture the spirit of the way Jesus exercises his ministry and follows his calling. The word liminal is known better in the discourse of arts and culture, than the church – and comes from the Latin word for threshold or hearth. It describes a transformative process which involves leaving a role in order to step back to a different way of being and be open to the Spirit in a deep way, in order to take the role up differently when returning, or maybe even finding that it leads to a different role. We hope and believe that the experience – which is intensive – and the frameworks the conference gives you will prove transformative for you and those you work with.

Leadership is a keyword in our culture – and yet Jesus talks about following, discipleship, rather than leadership. We might say that it is to do with how we take up our role with authority, especially spiritual authority. Of course, attention to what the person brings to leadership is key. But what often gets too little attention is an exploration of the ideas of purpose which different parts of the church and other organisations are working with, either consciously or implicitly. Clarifying these understandings is a key part of discipleship. The lack of purpose is partly because a systemic understanding of the world and the church is not widely worked with. And yet a Christian view of the world deeply embraces the interconnectedness of the whole in God’s good creation.

“A very worthwhile conference, which presented new material, and did not only try delivering information, but challenged assumptions about oneself, the nature of leadership, and started the process of changing behaviour.”

Increasingly, leaders have some access to psychodynamic thinking, but largely in relation to pastoral and therapeutic approaches. Paying close attention to what gets expressed and represented in the here-and-now is something which we will explore in a contained way in order to learn. There are interesting similarities to the Ignatian practice of being a contemplative in action because this awareness takes us into discerning how God is at work in the situation.

Of course, we cannot work to purpose without understanding what the contemporary context is both offering and how it is challenging the church. The hunger for spirituality and the distrust of religious institutions, the challenges and the opportunities of the recession, the increasing impact of climate change and developing technology, an ageing population, migration, conflict and a changing shift in the balance of world power are huge global resources and challenges. Systemic thinking transforms our capacity to make links between the local and the global contexts and to respond prophetically.

By setting the whole conference in the context of worship, we seek to open ourselves to the reality of the abundance of our potential resources and connectedness in God. We work with points of contradiction and the choices which both express our own inner sense of vocation and offer leadership as authentic ministers in whatever sphere we work.

This Conference provides a space to explore and reflect in depth in small groups on the experience of seeking to work and lead faithfully in the midst of these realities. We offer whole group events, teaching, role analysis and plenaries. Crucially, we offer new frames and paradigms to read our experience. Some of these frameworks were developed by The Grubb Institute working with the discipline of systemic thinking in relation to organisational life and in relation to faith and spirituality for more than fifty years, particularly through its Transforming Clergy Leadership Conference. It has focussed on applying them to lived experience and real-life situations and dilemmas. Rosy, Nigel and Keith have all helped to develop these conferences and are grateful for the generous open source leadership of The Grubb Institute in this area.

Contact Alison Ogden for all booking enquiries
aogden@sarum.ac.uk  |  01722 424826  |  01722 424800 (main reception)

Please inform Sarum College of any dietary requirements.
See the application form for full terms and conditions.

Course Details

Mon 10 November 2014, 12:00 pm
Thu 13 November 2014, 4:30 pm
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Keith Lamdin is principal of Sarum College. He has developed leadership training for church leaders, and acts as a leadership coach for church, charitable and health care organisations; Rosy Fairhurst is a priest and the director of Mission and Ministry, Ripon College Cuddesdon. She is the author of Uncovering Sin: Gateway to Healing and Calling and member of the Grubb/Theos research team producing the report Spiritual Capital: The Present and Future of English Cathedrals; Nigel Rooms is director of Mission and Ministry, Southwell & Nottingham Diocese, associate priest in the LEP of Bestwood Park with Rise Park and author of The Faith of the English: Integrating Christ and Culture