I started to answer, but had so much to say I thought it needed a post of its own. So this is it.
"Can you give some concrete examples of what True Leadership would actually look like in the Anarchist Church?"
I suspect my answer to that will carry on unfolding in my head ("And another thing . . .") as the day goes by.
But here are four things.
The first may seem a bit simplistic.
Years ago I heard Nick Cuthbert (I think) say: "A leader is someone other people are following."
I believe that's important. What I personally would like is a leader I can believe in. I remember one year when I went to Greenbelt, John Bell (Iona) was speaking). I thought I should take in a range of speakers, so I tried 2 or 3. I listened to someone who was self-obsessed and shallow, someone who was on a bit of a rant — and John Bell, who was wise, imaginative, intelligent, prepared, profound; he had something to say that made a difference. For the rest of the week, I just went to every single talk he gave, and I learned a lot. That week he was my leader, the person I was following because he was worth it. So I think the true leader of a church is the one people are following, and having to choose a leader from a selection offered by a national body may or may not give you that. A true leader best emerges by the recognition of the group. Jesus said, "My sheep know my voice", and as a pastor I've found that to be exactly true of leadership. The flock know the voice of the shepherd. When you start to teach, the people settle down into profound, accepting quietness. The flocks I pastored were not mine of course — they belonged to Jesus. But I would have prayed for them before I led their Sunday meeting: "Feed your sheep, Lord. They are looking to you. They need you. Feed them through me."
Then I think true leadership is local. Knowing people's histories, having known the people who worshipped with this community who are now in glory, knowing their family members who have ceased to worship, is important. A writer once said "show me a place's geography and I'll tell you its history". What unfolds in life is vitally connected to location. A leader needs to have grown (not necessarily their whole life, but at least a good long while) in that place. Imposing a stranger may be refreshing but will give you a shepherd who will never really know and understand the flock.
Also, keeping leadership local is a strong safeguard against abuse. A few weeks ago, a woman in a church near me was telling me about an incident from her childhood where her sister was sexually abused by a church leader. Her mother called him out, whereupon his denomination hastily redeployed him to work in their mission in Africa. The abused child felt desperate about the likely outcome for the African girls, and as a result lost faith in both the church and God, that she had trusted and believed in.
Once after I'd had a nightmarish time stopping corruption and abuse in a church appointment I was given, the hierarchy offered me what my Chair of District described as "a plum job". I don't share this view of pastoral ministry as a career opportunity.
I've also seen instances where congregations, suffering under not abusive but seriously incompetent ministry, have declined to re-invite their minister — but because of the Christian tradition of kind silence, have not apprised the unsuspecting new congregation where that leader sought appointment, of the problem.
In all cases, I think institutions tend to favour the leader not the people, and institutionalism tends to offer a safe haven for abuse, masking it, hiding it, and using the time-worn method of insisting on confidentiality to perpetuate it. Isolate and conquer.
Keeping leadership local, relying on the circle of the whole people of God as the eyes and ears and hands and feet and brain and backbone of the church, creates health and strength. It is much harder for evil and incompetence to flourish where people's back stories are common knowledge.
Then I think a key characteristic of leadership is anticipation. This is partly shrewd humanity, partly spiritual charism (knowledge, wisdom, prophecy). The ability to sense when something's kicking off, to have a quiet word before trouble starts, to move the flock on before the avalanche hits them, the insight to spot an emerging gift in a youngster, nurture and encourage it, to see what has not been covered in the discipleship programme and recognise what is needed to remedy that. A leader who cannot anticipate, who is always reactive not proactive, is a disaster.
And I think the jewel in the crown of true leadership is listening. To listen first of all for the voice of the Spirit — where is God leading us, what is he asking of us, what is the now word of God for us in this time and place. We root our listening in the scriptures (the whole Bible not just proof texts wielded as weapons) and in prayer, but in the minutest detail of everything we do, every day, we are listening for the Spirit's voice. To do that, we have to live simply. If our lives are cluttered by possessions (acquiring, curating or just muddling round in the mess of our hoard), commitments, meetings, relationships, socialising, a crammed schedule — then the still, small voice of the Spirit is often missed. Silence, solitude, and simplicity, help us listen to the voice of the Spirit: and we can't lead anybody if we don't do that.
But we must also listen to the people. The reason so many are wandering off right now is that they are neglected, unnoticed, their voice and their story unheard. Imposing a programme on people and insisting they do it is not what inclusion looks like. The church congregation is a circle not a pyramid. Nobody is at the top, nobody is the most important. As Jesus said, the first shall be last and the last shall be first — that happens in a circle. And he said we should be like the little children. Now, responsibility goes with authority, so I wouldn't leave it to an eighteen-month-old kid to lead Sunday worship. In the circle, people contribute according to their gifting and ability, and that should be decided by the circle as a whole under the leading of the Spirit. So, who's in charge? Jesus is. Who's the boss? Jesus is. Who speaks for him, acts for him here? We all do. So the decision-making process involves the whole body, but in the life of the church there will always emerge those who listen well to the Spirit and the people, who anticipate well, who know the landscape and the people with long familiarity, and whom the flock naturally follow. That's your leader. But, no imposing, no laying down the law — it's done by listening, and you take the people with you. You don't impose top-down.
I hope that helps!