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7 Questions with Lyn Edge
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Lyn Edge
Name: Lyn Edge
Current title: Secretary for Mission (National)
Current organisation: The Salvation Army
Lt Col Lyn Edge is the Secretary for Mission for The Salvation Army Australia. In her role she is responsible to resource and support the flourishing of corps and faith communities ministries, lead our social policy and advocacy work and also the operational management of Social and Community services across Australia.
Lyn has been a Salvation Army officer for over 25 years, working in Sydney and Paris before moving to Melbourne. She has been a Corps Officer (church leader) of both new and established corps, a social worker and a chaplain, and also worked in education. Being committed to life long learning she holds qualifications social work and theology, including a Doctorate of Ministry. Along with Major Gregory Morgan she is the co-author of Partnering with God: Being a Missional Salvationist, which explores mission from a Salvation Army point of view.
Having lived in Paris for 4 years, she speaks French and pre COVID, was loving the opportunity to travel and keep up her language skills. These days life doesn't get a lot better than having good coffee and a packet of chips whilst reading or watching the ABC. Actually that's not true, any time with her grandchildren is better than anything.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Making decisions. Life is complex and issues are nuanced. There are often many competing opinions, viewpoints and options and more often than not, there is no one clear 'right thing' to do. And so, as a leader you have to make a decision. Those decisions are often between equally good options and when you decide there are always people who will disagree and question your judgement. Further, for those of us who are keen to be liked (which I assume is most of us), making decisions can be hard because we worry about who we will upset in the process. I am normally a decisive person in my personal life, but the challenge of leadership is to decide on behalf of others.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was a social worker when I read an article challenging all Christians to be the best stewards of their gifts, training and talents. As a church member of The Salvation Army it seemed to me that I could be the best steward of how God had gifted me by becoming an Officer (Minister) in my home denomination.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Each day includes putting on a piece of music for mediation as soon as I turn my computer on (normally, Be Thou my Vision), the Lords prayer, some exercise, work full on when I am at work but no emails after dinner or on Sundays.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Shaping of Things to Come. This was an early introduction to expanding my concept of mission, the missio dei (the sending God and the sent church) and incarnational ecclesiogly (go to them church).
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
There is often no one right thing to do. Get good advice, pray for wisdom, test your ideas and then decide.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Mentoring and being mentored.
Being in relationship with people of other generations
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
When I was living in France I was invited to be a leader at a kids camp. These were events I would have led in Australia but there I was struggling with the language barrier and struggling with loss of confidence and competence. There was a boy at the camp with has complex behavioural issues and I found him often seeking me out when we were all together. I realised that he saw in my another 'outsider' and suddenly my loss of confidence was not a barrier to relationship but a bridge. For a normally confident and outgoing person, this vulnerability was a real lesson in humility, relationships and leadership.
What's one question you'd love to ask other leaders in our audience to generate discussion about leadership? Eg. 'How do you do difficult conversations well?', or 'What's one tip for leading a remote online team?'
What is one habit you are so glad you have developed?