The Tension Between Being Available and Being Accessible as a Leader

But, popular isn’t a good goal. It’s seldom an effective goal.

I can’t always be available, but this shouldn’t mean I’m unreachable.

I try to always be accessible.

• I genuinely want people to be served and to serve people.

• I can easily be found online. (I don’t hide my contact information.)

• I respond to all emails and return phone calls in a reasonable time—hopefully by the end of each day.

• I hold responsiveness as a huge personal value and lead our team to do likewise.

• I always try to help people get the help or answer they need.

I realize even this doesn’t make everyone happy. Some want me always available—to them. But, the goal of leadership is not to make everyone happy—it’s to lead people to a better reality than today. To do this, I must make effective use of my time.

I share this because there are so many pastors facing real burnout. They are struggling with effectiveness. Their family life is suffering. All because they tried to always be available, when all they needed to be was accessible.

(By the way, the church leaders in Acts 6 understood this tension. Read it again to see how they responded.)

Pastor—leader—the tension is real. But, realize you can be accessible even if you’re not always available.

Pastors, do you ever feel the tension between being accessible and being available?  

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Ron Edmondson
Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been helping churches grow vocationally for over 10 years.

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