Why Many Leaders Don't Make a Difference

One of the blessings of working in the same church for 17 years is I can see where I’ve made a difference in my church and where I have fallen short. I have many times operated in an environment where the lack of organizational clarity lead me down a path that wasn’t helpful. I have also contributed to the lack of organizational clarity for others. For years I had a very narrow understanding of what my job was. I felt that it was to create fun places for kids and teens to learn. That is a part of my job—a very small part.

Peter Drucker says leaders who don’t think about what they can contribute to the organization often end up aiming too low and defining their job (and the results of a job well done) far too narrowly. As a result, they don’t make a difference. There are a host of leadership styles out there, from those who lead as a dictator to those who lead by consensus. Effectiveness is not a result of a particular style of leadership.

Effectiveness in any job in any level of an organization comes from doing three things. Drucker sums them up perfectly.

Every organization needs performance in three major areas:
1. It needs direct results
2. Building of values and their affirmation
3. The building and developing people for tomorrow

If deprived of performance in any one of these areas, it will decay and die. All three therefore have to be built into the contribution of every person in the organization.

Direct results speak to what you can see right away as a result of your work. Building of values speaks to why we are doing what we are doing. Building people for tomorrow says our future is bright.

Build value, build culture and build people, and you will always be a leader that matters, no matter where you work in your church or company. Fail to do any of these three things, and you will build something that ultimately will be for your glory rather than Christ’s.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:5

Be a leader who builds what you build for God’s glory: Value – Culture – People – Repeat.    

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Sam Luce has been the children’s pastor at Redeemer Church in Utica, New York for the past 14 years. Currently he serves as the Utica campus pastor and the Global family pastor. A prolific blogger and popular children's conference speaker, Sam has worked in children's ministry for over 23 years and is also a contributing editor to K! magazine.