If I were the leader…

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.

John Rinaldo

As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.


John Rinaldo


As the Business Manager at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Morgan Hill, CA, Dr. John Rinaldo serves as the administrator over operations and finances for the parish in support of all parish ministries. Previously, John served as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of San Jose, empowering parish communities to minister to the needs of youth and young adults. John is also an adjunct professor at Santa Clara University teaching pastoral ministry courses to graduate students.



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