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Do You See 1 of These 10 Leaders Looking Back at You From the Mirror?

When I was asked to give a conference address on “Positive Leadership,” it got me thinking about how many different kinds of pastoral leadership I’d come across in my ministry.

Mr. Passive never takes a step forward.

Like a snooker ball, he just waits to be hit by the next event. If he can maintain the status quo or manage a congregation’s gradual decline, he’s quite happy.

If Mr. Passive is a snooker ball, Mr. Dictator is the snooker cue.

He’s always pushing his way around, pushing others out of his way, and aggressively pushing his own agenda with little thought about the knock-on effects for others. Sometimes he pushes so hard that he rips the cloth and ends the game for himself and everyone else too.

Mr. Crisis is neither too passive nor too aggressive.

He doesn’t try to avoid difficulties like Mr. Passive, and he doesn’t create difficulties like Mr. Dictator. But he loves difficulties when they come. Not so active in normal times, he thrives in a crisis, especially when the spotlight is on him.  He’ll lead through the Red Sea, but he’s not so keen on the wilderness bit.

Mr. Inconsistent can clear the table sometimes and hardly hit a ball at other times.

You just don’t know what to expect on any given Sunday. He’s up, and then he’s down. Sometimes his sermons soar, and sometimes they sink. Happy and encouraged one day, miserable and depressed the next. Determined to stay for the rest of his life, threatening to resign the next day. Completely unpredictable and unreliable.

Every leader has fears—he’d be foolish not to—but Mr. Fearful is characterized by fear.

Overwhelmed with fear, never gets past fear, is dominated by fear and makes decisions based on fear. But, just like the animals, his people can smell his fear, especially in his preaching. Most have stopped following him, and some have started intimidating him.

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Dr. David Murray is Professor of Old Testament and Practical Theology at Puritan Reformed Seminary. He is also Pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church. David is the author of Christians get depressed too, How Sermons Work, and Jesus on Every Page. You can read his blog at HeadHeartHand.org/blog or follow him on Twitter @davidpmurray. David is married to Shona and they have five children ranging from 4 months to 17 years old, and they love camping, fishing, boating, and skiing in the Lake Michigan area.