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One of the Most Important Pastoral Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned

One of the Most Important Pastoral Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned

I’m seeing this everywhere now. It’s so apparent and, yet, it can be so easily missed. For a long time, I missed it consistently. The problem is, when we miss it, we catch the wake of the miss. And the wake is so big and strong that it can hurt you, discourage you and haunt you. Pastoral leadership is difficult. It’s a grind. It’s a joy. It’s a blessing. Some days, you fall asleep feeling refreshed. Others, you can’t sleep. All this comes with the role. But what if there was a lesson that, if we believed it and acted on it, could change the culture of the churches we lead? Would you let the lesson shape the way you lead? I hope so. It’s that important.

One of the Most Important Pastoral Leadership Lessons I’ve Learned:

Unity doesn’t happen passively.

You have to fight for it. If your church has a vision, if it has a direction, if it has a strategy, if it has a mission, unity will never happen passively or by accident.

A Capital Campaign

A few years ago we started a capital campaign at The Crossing. For five years, we had been a portable church. We had gone through two moves already. We started out in a wedding reception building, moved to a local high school, and then moved to another local high school.

People saw the need for a permanent location, sure. But did they see the opportunity? Did they believe it enough to put their resources behind it?

We had to create unity in this direction we believed God was leading us to. So what happened? Meeting after meeting after meeting. Who were these meetings with? People in our congregation. The vision was shared with them, they had a chance to ask questions, and at the end of the day, another step toward unity was made.

Raw, Honest, Humble Leaders

I’ve heard Kenny White, our lead pastor, preach the following in leadership meetings for years: If you’ve got something to say, say it. Don’t leave here with something unsaid. 

A few weeks ago, we had all our staff and elders together for a vision retreat. In 2017, we grew by 37 percent and we were all sensing that we needed to prayerfully develop a grander vision for the next five years. This felt like a tall task given that our church has only existed for six years.

Want to know why I think the day was successful? Because we argued. We pushed. We clawed. We fought.

If someone had something to say, they said it. If someone felt like the Holy Spirit was giving a check in their heart, they shared.