Friday, December 10, 2010

Coriolis pastors

Ever on my quixotic quest to get a handle on the role of the pastor (see my tags)..

I do like Coriolis as an image..  See the the "Coriolis effect" above, and read about it at this link.
Any questions?


Westwinds had a tough act to follow when founding pastor Ron Martoia  (see my other posts...amazing writer/thinker)  moved on.

But because he was not just pastor but "transfornational architrect," he built the ability to morph  (he even has a book titled "Morph") into the church's DNA.
Now they have what they call "Corolis":  shared staff  leadership of three, with no senior pastor..but two lead pastors, and a youth person.
Strangely,  the model is nowhere explained on the church website, but is in this interview with one of the three, John Voelz:

COLLIDE: What is your role on staff?
Voelz: I am the Coriolis: Experience (bet you want that one explained). There are three of us who share the “senior leadership” role of the church. We do not have one single senior pastor. Our team, Coriolis, is named for the Coriolis effect, which serves as a great metaphor for us.
The Coriolis effect is what causes wind along with the uneven heating of the earth. The Coriolis effect is what happens when an ice skater pulls his or her arms inwards and spins faster. The Coriolis effect is what allows you to pour coffee on a plane that is going 600 miles an hour and the coffee pours straight.
Coriolis is divided into three areas of expertise: Narrative, Journey, and Experience. As the Coriolis: Experience, I am responsible for everything you see, touch, taste, smell, and hear at Westwinds. I help protect our brand. I program all weekend Fusions. I lead all the teams that work together to pull off a weekend Fusion. However, if you asked someone at Westwinds what I do and they don’t know me, they would say, “John is the guy who leads worship and speaks every once in awhile.”  ;ink

..and in this  by Voelz:

The short story on how we arrived at the team leadership approach is this: it was the Phoenix that rose out of the ashes. We didn’t set out to be revolutionary or shake things up at Westwinds. We were on a journey to find a new lead pastor when our elders and staff realized we had something special happening. God was blessing our ministry with the team leadership that sprung out of necessity. The Mother of Invention? 

We decided we would stop the search for a senior pastor and bring on another staff leader who would own the Narrative portion of what we do (weekend messages, vision casting, communication). 

We then put our heads together in order to brainstorm how to best convey what we wanted to accomplish with our team leadership. Better yet, we wanted a metaphor that best described what we wanted to be.  LINK

More from  David McDonald:

Even our name, Westwinds, is a metaphor. A west wind is created in two ways: first, through the uneven heating of the earth by the sun,[1] and second, through The Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect[2] is the pulling in of a moving object that creates speed in air movement. It is a result of the elliptical shape of the earth’s orbit which pulls the planet around the sun and causes wind.[3] Because the earth is a sphere, air moves along the circumference of the planet resulting – at high times – in cyclones. Other examples of The Coriolis Effect include the twirls of a figure skater, the motion of a pendulum, and the trajectory of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In our efforts to best serve the people of Westwinds Community Church, the elders and lead pastors have agreed upon a model of shared leadership based upon The Coriolis Effect. It is our desire to create new wind movement, to align ourselves with the orbit of the sun, and to work together to ensure that the future of our church is exciting and secure.

Shared leadership is not a new concept. Biblically we see the examples of Joshua and Caleb,[4] Moses and Aaron,[5] Peter, James and John,[6]and the Holy Trinity as examples of the good sense and health in wise counsel, strong contribution, and open communication between leaders. Historically, shared leadership has also proven to be an innovative way to lead people forwards. The Spartans had two kings in ancient Greece, and the Romans elected dual consuls to lead them prior to the Roman Empire. Other historical examples include the partnership of the Wright brothers and that of Microsoft co-founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen.[7]

Coriolis will serve as the lead position of paid staff at Westwinds. In contrast to the traditional model of a senior pastor, Coriolis will offer a broader perspective on staff issues and church-wide initiatives while maintaining the creative impulse necessary for Westwinds’ ethos to be both protected and evolving. In this model Randy Shafer will serve as the Coriolis: Journey, David McDonald as the Coriolis: Narrative, and John Voelz as the Coriolis: Experience, signifying both the unity among Coriolis as leaders of one mind and the diversity required of the individuals to oversee specific arenas of ministry. In short, Coriolis is unity in leadership and dreams.

While we recognize that there is some risk inherent with shared leadership and Coriolis, we also recognize that the potential for success outweighs the apprehensions of slow decision-making and unfamiliarity. With Coriolis our chief tasks have become the management of new ideas, fresh vision and enthusiasm, and the growing wonder of what God is doing in the city of Jackson and with His people.

It is good for us all to remember that we are not the Cause, but we are part of the Effect.  LINK

Now I see they are looking for an executive pastor,

Kudos to them!

My primary concern might be that the church is much too large..But there are many things one can do to work a large church to keep it as organic, wiki and personal as possible.
I do appreciate the setup of the space (see it)  with the screens, art...and chair placement (which is not theologically neutral).

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