PASSIONATE ABOUT JESUS AND HIS CHURCH,
I AM A LEADER WHO COMBINES EXPERTISE IN ACADEMIA AND PRACTICE
I love the church. I spent ten years leading the kind of church which attracted the kind of people who don’t do church…either because they never have and wouldn’t know how or because they tried it before and got burned. My energies were spent on preaching, mentoring emerging leaders and making disciples.
Since 2016 everything has changed – and in some ways nothing has. What changed was that I got a PhD in the theology of church leadership. My title was ‘Imagining Incarnational Ecclesial Leadership: Towards a Conceptual Proposal’ and I engaged the work of Fuller practical theologian, Ray S. Anderson. Another change was moving from leading the church to focus solely on my continuing work at the London School of Theology. I am Lecturer in Practical Theology there and teach leadership and preaching, pastoral care and spiritual theology.
Everything has changed – and yet nothing has. What didn’t change is that I’m still preaching and teaching, still mentoring and making disciples, though these days it is more often in a classroom or the college dining hall than in coffee shops and wine bars. I still give what little is left of my time to writing and guest lecturing and preaching in a variety of local churches. The main difference is that these days mostly I am serving the wider church rather than just one local church. You can find out more about what I do and my availability for freelance work at www.chloelynch.com.
Am I academic or practitioner? Well, it depends who you ask. My colleagues probably see me as practitioner, although the PhD gives me standing as an academic. And the normal people amongst my friends have probably always thought I’m a bit too much of an academic. Living in the middle, though, is a good place to be. I believe the church needs thinkers who care deeply, who are so embedded in both local church and the scholarly confessional community that their passion for Jesus and for his church overflows in Spirit-filled wisdom which is grounded in the contextual realities of life in Christ. I believe in this – and I want to be one of these people!
What else…? As well as good coffee, I like good food and good wine. I love to read and I really like spending time with my friends who make me laugh. My husband is the best of those friends! But, if you know me, you know also that I’m an introvert and I need a rhythm of solitude and space. I usually get that in the local swimming pool, when I write this blog or hiding at my research desk at college.