We recently left a church due to some painfully obvious leadership issues. And it does not look like things are getting any better since we left. Unfortunate.
Sadly, many churches put exactly the wrong type of individual into a leadership role at a critical time in the church’s history. Poorly equipped individuals with no real leadership strengths. And the work of the church suffers as a consequence.
Here is an excerpt on the importance of leadership to the health of a church from James Tippin’s blog:
Recently, while discussing the role of the pastor with a few young church planters, the comment was made that the pastor IS the HEAD leader in the church and that anyone in leadership should recognize his position and fall in line under his authority. I don”™t know if I have heard a statement as horrible as that one in some time.
Pastors are leaders because people are following them. Leaders with no one behind them are just “men taking a walk”? as it has been so eloquently stated. If you have to say that you are THE leader, then you are not the leader of anything. If a pastor wants to lead, he must first care, coach and shepherd. These qualities are essential in anyone who feels called by God to pastor.
The hardship over ”˜dictator”™ leaders comes from the dogmatic and stern approach by pastors who feel that they have the calling of Paul on their lives. As we proclaim Truth and Coach those in our care, we must be very careful to remain humble and lead without throwing our weight around.
To oversee is a special calling by God and is extremely delicate. Just like with my kids. I have been charged as an authority over them by God but their obedience to me is a choice and a gift. My goal is to coach them to love God and others and become Kingdom minded. When my children know that I first love them, they then respond to my leadership.
The same is true as pastors. The people that we shepherd must first understand that we love them and want the best for their lives. If we really don”™t, we should get out of the ministry quickly. When others understand that our desire is to see them pant after God as we help guide them, they will follow our leadership. If they don”™t follow us, we are not the leader.