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Have you heard the saying, “anything with two heads is a monster?” I have. Oddly, I heard it from more than one pastoral candidate for a senior pastor position. Why would that become the mantra of church leaders, while at the same time leaders in almost every other sphere are engaging in shared leadership?
This came to my desk just today from the group called SocialEdge: “It can be a husband and a wife, a dreamer and a doer, or a tunnel-visionary and a detail-catcher, but there’s often terrific benefit to a two-person team approach,” writes this week’s host Charles “Hipbone” Cameron. They continue: “Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak at Apple, Pierre Omidyar and Jeff Skoll at eBay, Bill Gates and Paul Allen at Microsoft, and maybe even Bill Gates and Warren Buffet when it comes to philanthropy…”
This raises a question for church leaders. If two people can make a formidable business team, should church leaders look to pair up? Might churches excel when there are two people with complimentary skill-sets at the helm?
Paul’s letter to the Ephesians reads: “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. (Eph. 4:11-13)
It appears the practice of shared leadership of the church began long ago. Where is that kind of leadership today? Why do leaders of churches insist on a single (male) leader at the helm when there is such clear evidence that this is not the ideal? I cannot answer that question adequately in this short post. I leave it with you to ponder.