Plenty of Persons – Few Personalities

It’s never happened before, but this week I stopped to read the words of the Czech President  Milos Zeman.

\n

He said:

\n

“In European politics there are plenty of ‘persons’ but few ‘personalities’ “

\n

In other words, interpreted the commentator, there are functionaries, but not leaders.

\n

It turns out that President Zeman backed up his reflection by appointing as prime minister a close ally with uncomfortable credentials in the Czech secret intelligence service who was not representative of the caretaker government in power. Zeman went for a potentially radical leader rather than one that more closely represented the balance of parliament.

\n

Not being in any way acquainted with Czech politics didn’t stop me wondering about an interesting parallel.

\n

In an interregnum in a parish church of the Church of England (the irony of comparing a parish church in the Church of England with the government of one of the most unchurched nations in Europe is not lost on me) the diocese often helps establish a measured, balanced transitional leadership team made up of members of the congregation. This team usually represents the current (and more problematically the historical) position of the particular church.

Does this then result in: a) the appointment of a middle of the road, balanced, competent, ‘person’; and b) the exclusion of the more radical, alternative, creative ‘personalities’ the church needs to grow?

\n

Or in the words used by the Czech president, does this approach put functionaries but not leaders in charge of churches?

\n