Norfolk Christians challenged to provide leadership
2016: Christian Leadership in Today’s World was the subject of a breakfast seminar held at St Stephen’s Church in Norwich on June 11 as part of the Celebrate Norfolk weekend.
Around 50 Christian leaders enjoyed breakfast and then heard the views of three prominent Norfolk Christian leaders.
Tim Sweeting, CEO of YMCA Norfolk said: “If you are a Christian, then I believe that you have the chance to be a leader, because you have the chance to influence others for Jesus.
“There is a declining trust in authority. Membership organisations are seeing numbers decline. A lot of things are now done in a more ad hoc, free flowing way - the internet and social media has a much bigger influence on people. Authority figures are less trusted and less important and that means that there is a greater responsibility on all of us as Christians to be leading our faith in tangible and practical ways,” said Tim.
“Young people are looking for role models – are they going to be Christian leaders or are they going to be the celebrities and people in the media spotlight, who I don’t believe should be. Young people are looking for role models whose actions match their words, people of integrity, people who are genuine. We should be those people. The world is looking for leadership – and we can provide that because we have purpose.”
Dr Robin Heij, consultant anaesthetist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, talked about medical teams in the NHS which often use a shared leadership model with people using their different skills and expertise to get something done. It is really about the quality of interactions rather than people having formal positions.
“There is also the self-leadership model,” said Robin, “where it is about asking yourself, ‘what impact am I having in my team?’ and ‘’is there someone who could do it better than me?’ and if something is going wrong, asking yourself ‘is there something I need to change?’ This is where I believe Christian leadership should be.”
Rev Madeline Light, vicar of St Stephen’s Church, spoke about the position of women in Christian leadership. She concluded: “To be a son, in ancient times, is to be an inheritor. In scripture it is clear that inheritors of the Kingdom are not identified because of their gender, but by their faith and actions. Those who are victimised will inherit all this and I will be their God and they will be my children – what amazing love God has for each of us, men and women, leaders and followers.”
Pictured top is Dr Robin Heij speaking at the breakfast.