Friday, December 15, 2006

Remote Leadership

One of the central concerns of the Palamas Institute is fostering biblical sound and effective leaderships skills in the Orthodox Church. Unfortunately, many leaders in the Church have adopted a "remote leadership" style. Writing for the online edition of Business Standard Shyamal Majumdar describes a remote style of leadership as one that has "no tolerance for dissent or even argument." Rather, the remote leader is one "who like to be surrounded with only yes men and women and who have little contact with the rank and file."

A remote or autocratic leadership style, whether in business or in the Church, will certainly get results. But theologically such a style it seems to me runs counter to a more collaborative style of leadership that appreciates the diversity of gifts in the Body of Christ. In addition, a collobrative style more accurately reflects the relationship of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity.)

Practically, Majumdar points out "that purely autocratic leaders ultimately become bottlenecks because people learn that the best survival skill is to ask the boss first before making a decision. Peole learn to wait for directives from the boss, or worse, they become terrified about making the wrong decision." This I would suggest is the problem that we are facing in all dimensions of the Church life. If we don't exactly see bottlenecks, there is a great deal on inaction and division on not only the national and diocesan levels, but also on the local levels, but in our parishes and in our inability to establish viable trans-parochial and trans-jurisdictional ministries.

In any event, Majumdar's article is worth reading. To read his article click here: Opinion & Analysis.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

St Gregory Palamas - Blog Archive Ellopos Blog

Some helpful links that offer addition information about St Gregory Palamas can be found here: St Gregory Palamas - Blog Archive Ellopos Blog

Blog by-the-Sea: Common Declaration between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp. Christodoulos

Teresa Polk in her Blog-by-the-Sea has translated the Common Declaration Between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp Christodulos of Athens.

In their joint declaration they apply the words of St Basil the Great to the current division between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. They write "St. Basil the Great, who in a period of multiple divisions in the ecclesial body was persuaded 'that with more durable reciprocal communications and discussions without a quarrelsome spirit, if some new explanation is needed, the Lord will provide it, He who makes all things work together for the good of those who love him' (Letter 113).

Central to this process of "reciprocal communication" between East and West they write they "wish to live ever more intensely our mission of giving an apostolic testimony, of transmitting the faith to those who are near and to those afar, and of proclaiming to them the Good News of the Saviour’s birth that we will both soon celebrate. It is also our common responsibility to overcome, in love and in truth, the multiple difficulties and the painful experiences of the past, for the glory of God, the Holy Trinity, and of His holy Church."

For this reason, the commit themselves and their Churches "to travel together the difficult path of dialogue in truth in order to restore full communion of faith in the bond of love. Thereby we will obey the divine commandment, and will carry out the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, and, enlightened by the Holy Spirit who accompanies and never abandons the Church of Christ, we will continue our commitment, following the apostolic example and showing mutual love and the spirit of reconciliation."

The visit between the Pope of Rome and the Archbishop of Athens and their common declaration is an exciting development that I hope and pray will bear fruit in full communion soon.

You can find the whole text of the declaration here: Blog by-the-Sea: Common Declaration between Pope Benedict XVI and Abp. Christodoulos

Thank you to Teresa Polk for her translation.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory