Last year, I wrote a long piece or short ebook on leading yourself. I’m going to roll it out, piece by piece, over the next couple of weeks on my blog. This has never been published before. So here we go. Here’s the fifth piece:
Know Your Role
Anyone in ministry is a person under authority. From the senior pastor answering to a board, trustees or the congregation (depending on your governance) to the executive pastor answering to the senior pastor, to all staff (paid and volunteer) answering to the executive pastor or senior pastor. Everyone reports to somebody and should be held accountable.
Ultimately, we all answer to the Head of the Church: Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:23 tells us “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” But on a practical, day-to-day working relationship, how does this whole concept work itself out?
Basically, we need to keep in mind that there are no lone rangers in ministry. Ministry should be done as a team and everyone should have someone that holds them accountable for goals set, discipline, and growth as a professional and a leader.
In a meeting, when something is being discussed, you have every right to speak up, voice your opinion and fight for something you’re passionate about, but once the decision has been made, you must get on board and champion that cause as if it was your idea.
If you have something against your senior leadership (pastor, executive pastor, or elders/deacons) – keep that to yourself and take the initiative to seek them out (Matt. 18) and discuss your grievance with them privately. Don’t bad mouth your leadership to others inside or outside the church.
I don’t care how big the name, how great the personality or how gifted the communicator – all leaders are replaceable. Rick Warren could leave Saddleback and Saddleback would go on. Craig Groeschel could leave LifeChurch.tv and it would go on. Andy Stanley could leave North Point and it would go on. You get the picture.
This is a sign of good leadership and a church (local Body of Christ) that is not personality-driven and ego-centric. There are some churches (I’m not going to name them – that’s not the point of this) that would crumble if something happened to their senior pastor. That is a shame and a sign of poor leadership.