There is no end to spin offs and parodies on The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). I thought I'd add to the mix by offering 10 Leadership Commandments for Clergy from a systems theory point of view. Here is my playful list. What would be yours?
- Thou shalt not make thyself dependent on the Church for your salvation, for she is not your God.
- Thou shalt cultivate your relationship with your family of origin, for it is your once and future hope.
- Thou shalt not sacrifice your family and its members for the sake of ministry, for they are your first ministry.
- Thou shalt not accommodate to weakness, neither in yourself or in others. For fear, timidity, insecurity, and neediness are a lack of faith.
- Thou shalt not create the congregation in your image, for that is willfulness and a form of idolatry.
- Thou shalt practice courage and persistence of vision in the face of opposition, for a system needs its leader.
- Thou shalt invest in other people's growth---your staff, your employees, your congregational members--for that is an aid to differentiation.
- Thou shalt master triangles, for they shall be with you till the end of time.
- Thou shalt practice responsible stewardship of your calling. Invest in your own growth and development: personal, spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and professional, for a church can only be as healthy as its leader.
- Thou shalt embrace imagination and adventure, for they will get you farther along on the journey.
Israel Galindo is Associate Dean, Lifelong Learning at the Columbia Theological Seminary. Formerly he was Dean at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond. Galindo serves on the Advisory Committee of the Wabash Center for Teaching in Theology and Religion and is available as consultant through the Center in the areas of curriculum development and assessment, leadership, and teaching and learning in theological education. In the fall of 2014 the Center for Lifelong Learning will offer the Leadership in Ministry Workshops, a clergy leadership development program from a Bowen Systems Theory framework. Check the Center's listing for more details.