From the Editor
Most of us are familiar with churches that have no plan to change the world or even their neighborhood, churches that have little impact on their communities or their members. Some pastors merely run a calendar that was set in stone years ago, never considering whether that calendar is accomplishing anything. Most of us would say that such pastors and such churches need a bit more vision.
Some churches, however, seem to suffer from the effects of too much vision – or maybe vision poorly wielded. We hear of churches that split over difference of vision, or of senior pastors who use vision as a club to keep staff and board in line. Sometimes leaders think that leadership is vision; they replace the essential elements of reaching the lost and shepherding with vision-crafting exercises and memorizing vision statements.
Because of these two polar tendencies in pastoral leadership, Sundoulos asked two of Talbot’s professors, Kent Edwards and Joe Hellerman, to write, respectively, on the necessity and the danger of visionary leadership in the church. Kent and Joe are particularly qualified to write on this topic; both have served for years as pastors, and have recently completed major writing projects related to leadership in the church. One of Kent’s many valuable insights is that visionary leaders invite the church to recognize and join in with “God’s overarching vision.” And Joe reminds us that vision cannot include only numerical growth and financial health; it must include healthy relationships among the staff and leaders of the church.
This issue of Sundoulos also welcomes the first Dean’s Column authored by our new Dean, Clint Arnold. In keeping with the theme of this issue, Clint shares with us part of his vision for Talbot, and tells us how Talbot’s leadership team works together to accomplish that vision.
Sundoulos is published by the Talbot Alumni Association for the purpose of ministering to and communicating with alumni and friends of Talbot. All rights reserved. No material can be reproduced without the permission of the Sundoulos editorial staff.
The Talbot journal, Sundoulos (soon'-doo-los), is designed to serve those who have graduated from Talbot and are in full-time ministry. Sundoulos grew out of an influx of requests for some kind of continued support for alumni as they finished their coursework at Talbot. In 1993, it joined with the Alumni newsletter and received a new format. Dr. Bob Saucy was instrumental in the creation of the journal and describes it as “a way we could bring the fruit of the faculty to alumni.”