Tuesday, February 12, 2013
There are lots of people that want to lead but far fewer that are alright with bearing the responsibility of what that leadership requires. Many desire the position, the success or even the paycheck that they believe comes with the title... it's the mantle without the burden, respect without proving the character, judgement without proof. Unfortunately, all that stems from leadership of this sort are damaged people, minions instead of followers and a diminishment of what the true role of leadership is.
Good thing this doesn't happen in the church...
I've worked with some incredible leaders over the years, men and women of integrity, people with hearts that placed value on others (not simply value on what was offered), those who placed the church before themselves... and then I've worked with others. Not "bad" people, but those who wanted to be the leader but didn't want to mess with people, wanted obedience over community, had their self-worth so tightly bonded to their role that failure was their kryptonite, could listen to only what they wanted to hear and felt the church "owed" them for what they brought to the table. Many of these people longed to see their church as a growing entity that lit up the mountainside... it was the method of getting there and the "why" that was off.
The reality is many of these individuals would be stellar business owners or CEO's - IF they delivered on their product (people aren't as particular about your methods or reasoning in business if you can deliver). It's just that leadership of this sort DOES NOT meld with good church leadership. Trust me,... I've been "that" guy. If you want to be a great leader in ministry, you must place your self-worth in God's hands, value the people you have over what they have to give you, be willing to let go of your plan and embrace a movement over a product, realize "you" are NOT the draw and respect those that choose to walk the road with you. You cannot pick and choose - you either do or do not (read that with a Yoda voice for full effect!).
And guess what? If you aren't cut out to be a leader in ministry... THAT'S OKAY!! God has called different people to do very different things (shocker). Often, the frustration comes when people who are called to use their drive and management style to be a light in the marketplace try to be a pastor... they keep butting their heads against the same issues over and over again. True, there are several attitudes that won't cut it if you want to use your giftings for God in either arena, but one will cause much more pain than the other. Many who carry the title of "Pastor" are not willing to carry the responsibility of leading the vision, direction and care of a community of believers... they simply want the position and the ability to speak to a large crowd and haven't realized that ministry is more than just that... those pieces, no matter how well they are done, are not what leadership is about. Period.
It doesn't politely "ask" for more, it doesn't passively open the door for more down the road, it DEMANDS more.
If that is a weight that is too heavy, I totally understand! I've wrestled with that issue over and over again, battled with it's demand and asked if It was something I was called to. There were days that I didn't think I could accept the responsibility and a season where I walked away from it. I ask God constantly to give me the strength to fix my shortcomings and to help me lead if that's what he wants of me. God didn't love me any less when I wasn't able to wear the title and there is nothing wrong with not having the leadership role. But if you take up that mantle, pick up ALL of it. It's for the sake of those that will follow, for the health of the local church community and for your own sanity. To lead, you must lead fully, building more than your own name, more than numbers or a solid series because it's not about a profession... it's about a calling.
Leadership is not a requirement, but for those who choose to lead in ministry, please, lead well.