Thursday, April 29, 2010

What a Mission Consultant Can do for You

Duncan Macleod wrote the following on his blog back in early April. Much of what he says applies to roles of both the National Mission Enabler, and the Regional Mission Advisor.

Consulting is mostly, I believe, about listening and looking. I like Fuzz and Carolyn Kitto’s suggestion that consulting is lending people your ears and eyes, not the other way around. It’s about finding clues about what’s happening behind the scenes, under the surface, in the past, present and future. Effective consulting in my line of work requires me to develop an intuitive and thorough understanding of human dynamics, sociology and emotional systems. I’ve learned where to find clues about community trends, looking for hard data (facts and figures) as well as soft data (human stories).

Consulting needs to be empowering. It is tempting to just tell people what to do. “Follow these instructions and you’ll be right”. However I’d rather be coaching local leaders to develop their capacity to discern direction and lead a community into the future. This is “power with” rather than “power over”. I’ve found this complicated when I’ve had the capacity to say yes or no to funding. I do come across ministers whose strengths are in pastoral care and conscientious living, but struggle with how to develop fresh thinking (creativity) and action (innovation). Often, not always, there are people around with drive and creativity who can share in the process. I say “not always”, as people with “get up and go” tend to “get up and go” elsewhere when they’re not given room to move and make things happen.
Read the rest on Duncan’s Blog, Postkiwi Duncan Macleod

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