Tom and I feel that Spiritual Midwives is one of the best metaphors for the type of leadership needed in the 21st century. This metaphor puts the emphasis not on what the leader accomplishes but what the leader helps others accomplish with their life.
The Spiritual midwife metaphor conveys the following clues for leadership in the 21st century.
1. Primary role is to provide an environment in which AExpectants@ are encouraged to give birth to the potential within them.
2. Spiritual Midwives take most of their leadership clues from the Aexpectant.@
3. Spiritual Midwives work primarily with people who expect to be more than they are.
4. Spiritual Midwives spend most of their time with those most likely to carry on the vision of transformation.
5. Spiritual Midwives never ask the Aexpectants@ if they wish to give birth; it is assumed. The same is true with how they relate to the church.
6. Spiritual Midwife leadership is an event that involves more than one person. Think of all the people involved in the birth of a child.
7. Spiritual Midwives exercise a strong nurturing presence before, during, and after the birth.
8. Spiritual Midwives give the new birth back to the Aexpectant@ and do not take care of them.
9. Spiritual Midwives are grown, not born or made.
10. Spiritual Midwives lead by authenticity and influence.
11. Spiritual Midwives embrace change because they know it is the prelude to growth.
12. Spiritual Midwives are always servants.
13. Spiritual Midwives have a Bible in one hand and a pom-pom in the other.
14. Spiritual Midwives work in teams.
15. Spiritual Midwives void the following like the plague:
a. Barrenness – churches that refuse to grow and give birth to new ministries.
b. Abortion – churches that give birth to something new and then kill it before it has a chance to grow.
c. Stillbirth – churches that spend enormous energy giving birth to a program that is already dead.