Monday, February 15, 2010

So You Want to Be a Leader?

Everyone wants to be “the leader” – don’t they? From the outside looking in, the role looks good. Leaders usually get an office, and maybe even a little prestige. But when you actually get the job you begin realize it’s not exactly the walk in the park you pictured it to be. Here’s why being “the leader” in church work is a lot tougher than most people realize:

1. When people are angry about something they vent their frustration on leaders.

2. When church members are fighting each other, they want the pastor to referee or take sides. In the end, both sides end up mad at the leader.

3. When couples are divorcing, they want the pastor to take sides. When you don’t take sides, both get angry at the pastor.

4. Guess who gets to say “no” to a lot of things? Yes. It’s “the leader.” Sometimes you have to say no to friends who have good ideas, and sometimes you have to say no to not-so-nice people with bad ideas. It’s never fun, but it has to be done for the simple reason you can’t say yes to every request. There are too many.

5. When staff or ministry leaders are not performing well, guess who gets to have the “hard talk” that sometimes results in letting a person go? You guessed it - the leader.

6. When it’s time to conduct performance evaluations, guess who gets to do it? You already know.

7. Churches have budgets. Guess who gets to tell ministry leaders that their “amazing idea” is not allowed because it won’t fit into the budget?

8. Leaders have a bull’s eye painted on themselves in which people feel free to take shots at. These criticisms come from people they thought were their friends, or by people who have never met them.

9. If you are a church leader, you are scrutinized for everything you do or say. What movie you are seeing, what you wear in public, or whether or not you spoke to someone in Wal-Mart.

10. Since it is impossible to make everyone happy, someone is ticked off at you all the time.

Not everyone who wants to be a leader can last as a leader. Think long and hard about a leadership role in your church before you enter one. If you can’t deal with the hard stuff, a leadership role can mess you up. Be sure God has gifted you and called you there. People who want to be leaders for the title or prestige do not last because those things don’t matter when the pressures of leadership show up.

But hey, if you’ve got what it takes, then go for it. The church needs great leaders!

1 comment:

Jodi said...

Well said.