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Essay

Leadership Takes Imagination

By June 22, 2016 No Comments
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How often to you let your mind wander in imagination? Do you let yourself daydream? As I ride the subway back and forth from Brooklyn to Manhattan I daydream and imagine new possibilities. I believe imagination is one of the top three values in leadership.  We must take time to nurture our imagination and allow it space to roam. Gloria Steinem once said “Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Imagination is a form of planning.

Walter Brueggemann said that “The prophet engages in futuring fantasy. The prophet does not ask if the vision can be implemented, for questions of implementation are of no consequence until the vision can be imagined. The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and to imagine almost nothing.”

To be partake in the family of God requires imagination.

To lead the church requires imagination.

To follow Jesus requires imagination.

I dream often. I dream of “What if’s..” and “Maybe we could…” and “What if we did that instead of this…” and “I wonder how…”

Here are some of my dreams for the church…

  • I dream of pews being removed facing front and center and turned inward to sit in the round as we face each other so we can see the face of Christ in our neighbor
  • I dream of gender neutral bathrooms in each church
  • I dream of the doors of churches being opened at all hours for people to pray, rest, and find sanctuary
  • I dream of an end to committee meetings
  • I dream of an end to the life-sucking debate of LGBTQ inclusion to instead the blessing of LGBTQ leaders and allies leading the church together
  • I dream of freedom for the church
  • I dream of enough money for each ministry, enough imagination for each ministry, enough joy to sustain the worship of praise of our God
  • I dream of houses of worship being safe places and where allegations of abuse are taken seriously
  • I dream of a wide, open table of the Lord for all people to come and feast on the meal of grace
  • I dream of a church who takes the words “Do Not Fear” from Scripture seriously
  • I dream of progressives/liberals loving Scripture and unapologetically and leading the way in robust theological leadership
  • I dream of conservatives in the church learning how to be open to people who are different than themselves and offer a heart posture of generosity to those whose interpretation of Scripture may be different than their own
  • I dream of forgiveness
  • I dream of mature Christians
  • I dream of joy…lots of laughter
  • I dream of art, justice, and depth of spiritual renewal
  • I dream of the elimination of poverty and the church taking an active role in the political sphere to be a voice for justice

What do you dream of? May the Spirit guide us to dream dreams and have bold visions!

Jes Kast

The Reverend Jes Kast is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament and serves West End Collegiate Church as their Associate Pastor.

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