06 Nov '08
For frustrated pastors and church leaders
Are you ever frustrated by how much bureaucracy you face either as a pastor or a leader in trying to make decisions for the church?
Yesterday I had an extended conversation with a pastor of a church of nine hundred. The leadership structure of the church is "leadership by committee" and nothing is supposed to happen without the approval of the elder committee. They literally feel that they have the right and the prerogative of dealing with every issue in the church - even though the church is a large church of 900 people!
Imagine the frustration of a pastor who has strong leadership skills but cannot lead. Imagine the frustration of several board members who understand good governance but whose hands are tied.
My guess is that this pastor will end up leaving to the missional loss of the church.
I contrast that with the story I shared recently of a church that has empowered its leaders and has seen huge ministry success. In one church leaders are empowered to lead - in the other they are not.
What is sad is that the church of 900 above could easily lose its pastor due to his high frustration factor - affecting not just him but a large congregation who love him and his direction. And, the church is leaving a huge amount of ministry effectiveness on the table - unused because the committee of elders cannot get its act together but insists that it must control the pastors.
What is wrong with this picture?
First, these leaders are leading like the church was led when it had 100 people and today it is a church of 900. It does not work! When church governance does not reflect the size of the Church the ministry hits a ceiling and stalls out. Who gets hurt? Those who are no longer led well and those who are not reached because of ministry paralysis.
Second, these leaders clearly do not trust their pastor. When a board insists on controlling their staff they are clearly communicating mistrust. An interesting concept when the New Testament talks about a culture of trust among God's people.
Third, these leaders do not have the humility to listen to others and to learn new ways of leading. They insist that there way is God's way and no counsel regarding leadership principles is listened to - hubris - and foolishness.
The sad thing is that this is all too common in the church. But it does not and should not be that way. If you face these challenges, take a look at these blogs: