It’s Lonely At The Top

You may have heard this phrase uttered by leaders in the past:

“It’s lonely at the top.”

Not sure who came up with that, but if that person was lonely, then he or she was not a leader.

I sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that, “no one understands where I’m coming from. People don’t know how hard it is to be the leader.” I usually whine a little more and then I’m done.

Once I come to my senses, I realize that plenty of people do know where I’m coming from and people do know how difficult it can be to be a leader. I just have to find these people and intentionally make them part of my support network.

I figure, if I’m a leader and I’m at the top and I’m alone, then I’m not a leader. As the old saying goes:

“He who leads but has no followers is only taking a walk.”

Touché.

Every leader needs to gather others around them that can be a mentor, a friend, and an accountability partner. Every leader has to surround themselves with systems and structures that support them.

The tough part of being a ministry leader is that it can often feel like I’m alone, when, in reality, I’m not. I’m sure I could blame all sorts of people for this, but ultimately, if I’m alone, that’s my fault.

Create a support network that will allow you to thrive in your ministry. Here is who should be on that list:

  1. Spouse
  2. Other family members
  3. Pastor
  4. Co-workers that you collaborate with
  5. Volunteers
  6. Friends
  7. Counterparts in other local churches

In the Catholic Church structure, you also have an entire Diocesan support structure that can help, including:

  1. Diocesan director for your ministry
  2. Human Resources Office
  3. Safe Environment Office
  4. Office for Worship/Liturgy
  5. And a myriad of others depending on your Diocesan office

There is no excuse for you as a leader to say that it is lonely at the top. Reach out and find those support networks that will not only help you survive in your ministry, but will help you thrive!

Question: Who has been the best support to you in your ministry when you needed it most?

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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