The Green Report

If you haven't read the Green Report you have probably read something about it. The report suggests a more focused approach to senior appointments, including a talent pool of 150 bright sparks who will be given extra management & leadership training.

The response from clergy has hardly been overwhelmingly positive. I want to look at the bigger picture.

Firstly, effective clergy are motivated by the prospect of new challenges and opportunities. For most of us this won't be bishop, but it may be the possibility of other posts which the report addresses. However open the application process to these posts may be, if the perception is that the talent pool is the (only) way into those posts, effective and engaged clergy will be demotivated. All clergy need clear mentoring with 5, 10 & 15 year vocational development plans.

Secondly the church is awkward to manage. Parish clergy work in partnership with PCC's who have far more immediate potential to make our life wonderful or miserable than our bishops. As vicars manage parishes of volunteers through inspiration and encouragement and love, so bishops manage clergy. If that dynamic is going to change at a diocesan level then parish clergy need to be given the same tool kit at parish level.

Finally many of the clergy bloggers and tweeters who are concerned by the report are younger, missional, emerging and dynamic. A danger that the senior leadership of the church needs to address is a potential divide between missional and managerial streams in the church. Historically where the senior leadership of the church has struggled to respond to missional movements those movements have formed their own networks. I suspect that this is opposite to the intention of the report.

Have a very happy Christmas - my Christmas reading is How Google Works.

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