Pastor’s Corner: Movement

June 2, 2021

Some years ago, I heard Rabbi Edwin Friedman define leadership pretty simply: a leader is someone who sets a goal, invites other people to come along, and sets out toward the destination. Dr. Friedman had a lot more to say about the skills and characteristics of good leaders – he deplored both autocrats and risk-avoiders – but the essential quality of leadership is movement toward a goal.

Movement. Not stasis. Movement.

As I look at photos of newly graduated Rebekah Anderson, M.Div., with the stone tower of Riverside Church rising behind her, I can’t but be struck by the incongruity of building churches of stone. Even the soaring spire cannot conceal the essential solidity, the fundamental stasis, of the stone structure. The great semicircular apse betrays the deep roots which will not be moved.

I’ve written recently about seeking a “normal” that is better than the “normal” we had: let’s move toward that goal. That’s just part of the movement, however. Leadership, especially religious leadership, always summons us beyond what is toward what could be or what might be. Religious leadership cannot be content with what is. Religious leadership always yearns toward greater things.

In this photo, Bekah’s arms are lifted to soar. The building behind cannot – indeed, the institutions behind cannot. A leader however, can fly, and inspire communities to fly behind her.

Let’s fly.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on June 2, 2021

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