Is this a problem to solve or a tension to manage? Understanding how to use that question in making decisions is the great value I learned from Managing Polarities in Congregations and why I highly recommend it to leaders in faith communities.
Do you breathe in or out? Hopefully both. That makes breathing a tension to manage, and learning to do that well leverages your breathing capacity for greater growth and endurance.
Oswald and Johnson apply the concept of Polarity Maps to 8 keys for thriving faith communities. For some faith communities, it is a choice between strong pastoral leadership or strong lay leadership. For many faith communities,it's an either/or battle. Oswald and Johnson show how it's best as both/and, then they show how to leverage that polarity for growth.
Other polarities to manage include: Tradition AND Innovation, Spiritual Health AND Institutional Health, Management AND Leadership, Inreach AND Outreach, Nurture AND Transformation, Making Disciples: Easy Process AND Challenging Process, Call AND Duty.
The list could go on. As I read the book I thought of other polarities / tension areas to leverage for growth -- Church AND School, Work AND Family, etc. Appendix A applies polarities to Small Groups.
Buy this book for your leadership and for those who serve with you. Build your own polarity maps. Identify the problems that need to be solved, and discover the polarities that need on-going management and leverage them for growth.