How is it defined in our particular field with such eternal significance?
We lead in time for a timeless cause. We come to this role from so many paths and motivations. We must ensure that our primary role not be surrendered to meaningful, but secondary, applications.
Some of us as pastors are therapists who know that God is the great healer.
This is a noble intention, and certainly people need healing.
We live in a broken world, and wholeness is essential for healthy community and a people strong enough to advance a great cause. Still, a healer is different than a leader, though great leadership strangely promotes a culture where healing and wholeness thrive.
Others become pastors from a more academic path.
They love studying the Scriptures and suffer through preaching it.
Others suffer as well.
They suffer not because the teaching of the Scriptures isn’t essential, but because there is nothing more deadening to the soul than written Word without life. When our hermeneutic becomes theological rather than missional we lose our way.
A teacher is different than a leader. Leaders always teach us, they teach us how to live.
There are also those who see leadership as a responsibility to preserve the good and resist the world. They would protect us from an evil world and create refuges for God’s people.
They teach the truth and comfort us with the certainty and security of our beliefs.
They lead those who believe, and see those who do not believe as the enemy.
The church is our escape from the world.
We are the Alamo.
We need guardians, but they are different than leaders.
Guardians protect the past and preserve the past.
Leaders learn from the past and build on it.
After three decades of stumbling through this leadership journey, there is one theme that prevails: Leaders create human communities.