Have you ever just shook your head as you received a communication from a ministry leader or saw a leader do something that you thought to yourself, “why”? I can. Many times. Sometimes my “why” turned in to, “What were they thinking?” Then, I immediately say to myself, “I will never do that as a leader.” In fact, a couple years ago, I started making a list of those things that I swore I would never do. Come on, be honest. Have you ever said, “If I was the leader, I would do this or not do that. If I was the leader, everything would be better. If I was the leader, I would be a better leader than others.” Well, that’s an awfully self-serving and un-humble thing to say. Not to mention, not very Jesus-like. But, I’ve said it.
Then, I became a leader in ministry and, wa-la! Like magic, I did the same things that I swore I would never do! Why?
- My perspective changes: When we become leaders, we have a different perspective. Sometimes, we see things that others do not see or understand. We make a decision based on that perspective. It may be right or wrong, but the fact is that your perspective changes and informs every decision you make.
- We distance ourselves: Not purposely. Any leadership position can sometimes remove us from the people we are meant to serve. The solution is to try and always stay grounded. I have to get outside of my ivory tower and be with the people. Just because I have a certain title does not give me permission to not stay connected with those that are ministering on the ground floor with and for me.
- We make mistakes: There were times when I’ve said, “what were they thinking?”, that it was clear the leader I was talking about made a mistake. We don’t want or expect our leaders to make mistakes. But, they do because they are human. So do I. Being a leader does not mean we have all encompassing wisdom. Even Solomon made mistakes. So do I. I have to be okay with that. Even if I did write it down on my “I will never do” list.
Have you ever said, “If I were the leader…”? If you have, how did you finish that sentence? What actions (or inactions) have you sworn never to do? Share with us those thoughts.