Dayspring Leadership Update
At the Office Warming Parties (14, 15 & 16 November 2017) we announced changes to the leadership of Dayspring. If you missed the evenings or want to hear the announcement again you can. We videoed the announcement; you can listen to an audio recording and read a summary of what was said below.
DAYSPRING LEADERSHIP UPDATE
Dayspring has had a key leader and core team almost since its beginning. Most recently that has been made up of seven people: Carole, Donna, Marion, Rosie, Andy, David Sandberg and Dave Halls. That’s a big team, certainly bigger than for most churches of our kind but it did manage to be fairly representative: male and female, older and younger.
Even in sport you need different kind of teams and leadership, ranging from soccer at one extreme to boxing at the other with rugby and cricket somewhere in between. We don’t want to assume that the same kind of team that we have had up to now is going to be best for the future. Churches of our kind have a huge variety of ways of providing leadership and we need to find out what is likely to fit with our future rather than our past. However, we do want to stay true to our values and distinctives—and because of that and our view of ordination and leadership—we want to grow our team from within, rather than helicopter in somebody from outside. (Of course, everything can change but this has always seemed very important to us.)
For at least five years we have been thinking about how the leadership of Dayspring needs to change in the future—the core team, the trustees (Ian Powell and Raph Mrode) and Dave Day have all been involved. In 2015, we invited people to join a Leadership Learning Community and we made a general invitation for anybody who wished be part of that too. After two years of working together and as a result of extended consultations in the first half of this year we are ready to make changes.
2. A TEMPORARY, TRANSITIONAL PHASE
Until, the middle of 2019 at the earliest, the plan is to work with two new groups:
The membership does not represent a big change. It will be composed of Carole, Andy, David Sandberg and led by Dave Halls. This was all planned with the expectation that Marion and Peter were going to move away. Now they are with us for the longer term, we are planning that Marion will be part of the oversight too. The oversight will be responsible for maintaining values and missional direction and with a particular focus on developing teaching and leading pastoral care.
a TRANSITIONAL TEAM,
This new team will be accountable to the oversight, initially focused on the programme, planning and implementing aspects of leadership. It will be led by David Sandberg with support from Rosie. The other members are: Sarah, Rolf, Mark, and Alan. (That means that they are on average 14 years young than the core team). If you are alert, you will already have seen aspects of this happening with different people hosting the Sunday meetings and the new team are planning and running this year’s advent series. We hope that the team will rapidly move to increasing prayerful involvement in contributing to direction, teaching and pastoral care.
Members of the oversight will continue to serve in the church at ground level, sharing the work alongside everybody else. Nevertheless, one measure of the success of the transitional team in taking responsibility will be that they are successful in drawing together teams which mean that the oversight are no longer depended on for practical jobs.
After at least two years, if things go as hoped, the transitional team will be disbanded and a new team will emerge which includes some of the Transitional Team, together with others who have yet to be identified. Some of the TT may join the oversight or find that they are happier serving in other ways in Dayspring. As a new leadership is formed, the oversight team will expect to become ever more advisory, concerned with values but not so much with direction. Andy, Carole and David S, as well as Dave H have all been part of the foundation of Dayspring and so have a unique continuing contribution to make in terms of prayer and faith for the church.
The Transitional team is meeting at least monthly. In addition, the two groups will meet together monthly for three months and then once a quarter. This meeting will be for encouragement, personal and values development, and prayer. The Oversight team will meet regularly for prayer and reflection and to support David S in his role.
3. DEVELOPING ROLE FOR DAVE HALLS
The emergence of a new and younger team, willing to carry the weight of spiritual and practical responsibility will make it possible to move forward with changes in Dave H’s role, some of which are already beginning to happen, with less involvement in the first part of Sundays and more generally with programmes.
A useful image for Dave’s planned role development is that of being the parent of adult children. That means standing back, allowing them to make their own decisions and reproduce, being available to help out when needed but leaving responsibility squarely with the next generation.
As you know Dayspring values the contribution of prophetic insight into strategy as long as it is subject to reflection and evaluation. In the Autumn of 2013 at a leaders’ meeting, Dave was prayed for and received a prophetic image that becomes helpful in this context. He was seen in a hall, seated on an antique chair. The hall was interpreted as meaning transition, the chair, foundations, and its antique nature referred to tradition. Subsequently the core team felt that ‘antique’ could have referenced values as well. In September 2017, during the recent visit of Pete and Kath Atkins, Pete received the image of his grandfather’s medical bag which contained old instruments. On the Sunday, he told the church that he felt this was one of three bags we needed to take forward with us.
Over the next three years Dave hopes to become more focused in his involvement in Dayspring while still being be passionate about helping people to follow Jesus more closely in more areas of their lives. While his priorities will no doubt become clearer, there are some things that he is already enthusiastic about concentrating on. In the next twelve months, he needs to submit his thesis, concerned with the work of the Spirit in people who are on a journey to faith. He also wants to develop our ministry with and through our growing group of slightly older people. He is also excited about the possibilities of developing and mentoring emerging leadership.
4. PIVOTAL ROLE FOR DAVID SANDBERG AS HE TAKES ON GREATER RESPONSIBILITY.
When Dave Halls thinks of David, Philippians 2:19-20 comes to mind. 'I hope to send Timothy to you soon for a visit. Then he can cheer me up by telling me how you are getting along. I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares about your
welfare.' (NLT) We know that David is a person of character and a great servant of Jesus, and he has internalised Dayspring values. Nevertheless, it is important that nobody becomes a bottleneck and we will make space for others to grow around and
alongside and beyond. The transitional team is just that—temporary and time limited. Nothing is up for grabs but everything is possible and we expect that other leaders will emerge to take their place alongside some of those who are currently part of the team.
We are sure that David will have a key role in the leadership of Dayspring into the future if he wants that. He is going to be exploring his calling over the next phase with support not only from the church but from people outside as well. To help him understand what that should be we are providing support and challenge through personal development mentoring with an experienced leader outside of Dayspring’s networks. We are also about to ask a good number of you to take part in a 360-degree review so that David can understand more about his strengths and weaknesses so that he can take the lead in
building a well-rounded team.
Finally. David’s servant orientation has meant that in the past he has picked up all sorts of detailed tasks, as much because of his heart to serve as because of his role. It is clear that he will no longer have time to be involved in so much practical detail. We hope that people will step up to help in some of these areas alongside David and Marion as well as Dawn who handles much of Dayspring’s book-keeping. As new teams emerge, we will all need to avoid making last minute requests for help, particularly for Sundays, and where we lack skills, draw in other people to help.