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2020 Conference: Beyond Blame: Accountability Now?

Bookings are now open for this year’s annual conference, run in association with the Susanna Wesley Foundation, which will take place online on Tuesday, 1st December. We think that small teams of colleagues who attend together will find this particularly helpful.

There is understandable scepticism that the social and political structures that affect everyday life can be held to account. It is not difficult to find poor performance that hasn’t been challenged, systemic problems that are repeatedly investigated without real change and public policy that lets down those most in need.

This day conference will look head on at the challenges of accountability whilst opening up our own work to the same questions. Three people in positions of being held to account and holding others to account will be asked to open up about the challenges they face:

Christine Allen
Director of CAFOD
Vic Rayner
Executive Director of the National Care Forum
Marvin Rees
Mayor of Bristol

Alongside this Dr Helen Cameron (Practical theologian and Research Associate, Centre for Baptist Studies, Regent’s Park College, Oxford) will summarise some of the current academic thinking about accountability and relate it to themes in Christian theology.

Rev Mike Long, Notting Hill Methodist Church, London, will offer a closing reflection linking the day’s presentations to his experience of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.

Key issues will be drawn from this and participants given an opportunity in small groups to reflect upon them. Colleagues wishing to attend and reflect together will be welcome.

This conference is for everyone involved in organisational life and leadership – both those within churches and faith organisations, as well as those within secular organisations.

2019 Conference

MODEM’s 2019 Conference, in partnership with the Susanna Wesley Foundation, was held at Sarum College from lunchtime on Thursday, 21st – lunch on Friday 22nd November, and built on the ideas generated at 2018’s conference. Entitled ‘Losing Control – Enabling Withness’, we explored ideas that Sam Wells has been developing in ‘A Nazareth Manifesto: Being with God’ (2015), ‘Incarnational Ministry: Being with the Church’ (2017) and ‘Incarnational Mission: Being with the World’ (2018), and how these can relate to ideas from organisation studies about emergence and non-imperialistic forms of organising and non-control. We related these ideas to experience and wisdom from local churches. A Nazareth Manifesto has been described as ‘nothing less than a call to rethink Christian witness and mission, based on a profound re-telling of our relationship with each other and God’. This conference was an opportunity to think together about how church organization might better facilitate such a retelling. The ideas follow on naturally from our consideration of witness in the 2017 conference and asset based community organization in the 2018 conference.

Speakers included Sam Wells, Nic Beech and Paul Hibbert. Click here for more information, or watch Sam speaking about ‘Being With’ here:

Book Reviews


We regularly provide reviews of newly published books that are relevant to leadership, management or ministry. Check out our book review page.

Archbishop of Canterbury supports MODEM’s work


“The work you do in bringing together perspectives on leadership and ethics from church and commerce is immensely valuable and I am grateful to you for developing these channels of communciation.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Revd & Rt Hon. Justin Welby sent MODEM a letter of “warmest good wishes” for its 20th anniversary conference in 2013. He challenged MODEM to continue its work with a reflection on “the love of Christ urges us on…” from 2 Corinthians.
You can read the full letter in a special conference issue of MODEM Matters.