It was recently announced that Tiger Woods will return to the PGA for the Masters. I love to watch Tiger play golf, so I’m happy, but please hear me: the PGA was around long before Tiger and the PGA will go on long after Tiger. No one is irreplaceable.
This principle applies to church leadership as well. I don’t care how big the name, how great the personality or how gifted the communicator – all pastors 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.
When I led the technical arts ministry at Bent Tree, I created and led a Technical Arts Leadership Team comprised mostly of volunteers. In our meetings I would stress to them the importance of them taking ownership in the ministry. I’ve blogged about that several times on this blog. I can distinctly remember saying to my leadership team numerous times that the ministry could not be “Greg-centric”. Now that I’m no longer at Bent Tree, this team (which was never built around me) continues to lead the ministry and make Sunday happen each week, as well as see that the team members are cared for.
Bent Tree was a great church before I came and they’re a great church without me. That’s the whole point. Nobody’s irreplaceable. I want to encourage you to lead in such a way that if something happened to you or God called you somewhere else, your current church would continue to thrive without you.