Hear from Dr. Darrell Gwaltney:
Another trait these thriving congregations demonstrated was the capacity for substantial ministry outcomes born out of visionary leadership, a non-traditional model of leadership. Now in many cases congregations, these congregations, have been in existence for many years decades and have periods of great success but what they were discovering due to changes in their community or the world around them or because of leadership issues that they now face significant challenges that required new solutions and movement away from often tried and true but ineffective previous methods. They face the fact that working faster, harder, smarter was not able to create the solution they needed for particular challenges and problems. So as they began to look at their situation many of them move forward out of the visionary and non-traditional leadership that grew out of their congregational needs. These variations have a wide variety of pastors and educational backgrounds male pastors, female pastors, co-pastor involvement. These are churches that have creative models for teaching, for ministry, and the work of the church. These are congregations that are inspired by innovation in the way that they approach working in the community. Time, place, model, service, their willingness to imagine new ministry formats bases on their particular community needs and even an openness to changing the dynamics of their worship services, not just music but participation and style and liturgy as a way to connect with their congregation. These leadership styles in these congregations build capacity and energy to develop a new culture in the congregation so a critical trait for a thriving congregation is the willingness to build capacity for ministry by being receptive to new, innovative, often non-traditional leadership styles.