‘Prophetic leadership’ isn’t an idle phrase
By Amy Butler
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Seems like everybody likes to use the phrase “prophetic leadership” when it comes to the church. It sounds deeply theological and also a little daring, don’t you think?
Pastor search committees have a tendency to use the phrase early on in their work (then inevitably use the phrase “be careful what you wish for” very soon after), and pastors especially have a bad habit of bandying the phrase about in their efforts to impress each other.
I admit that if I were talking with a seminary class about my work I would say that prophetic leadership is a critical piece of pastoral life. But let’s be honest: Outside the classroom, who wants to actually do it? Putting words into action seems to be the place where everything begins to fall apart.
It’s understandable. I mean, it’s a barren patch of land at the intersection of leadership and prophecy — which is a nice way of saying that it’s really not pleasant in the least to be a leader who takes unpopular positions for the sake of what’s right. Read on…