I believe much of the evangelical church is experiencing a crisis in leadership today. As I see it, far too many churches lack strong, bold pastoral leadership. I often find myself wondering, “Where have all the leaders gone? Why is there such an absence of strong leadership in the church?”
Then the other day I heard a quote from Michael Hyatt on his leadership podcast. He said, “If you don’t want change, then don’t hire a leader.”
And then it dawned on me. The reason strong leadership is lacking from so many churches is because change is the LAST thing most churches want. Most churches embrace status quo. Their desired future is a return to their past.
So it stands to reason then that the last thing they would really want from their pastor is strong leadership.
Why? Because a leader by very nature is hard-wired to challenge status quo. A leader sees a vision for a preferred future and then leverages his influence to cause people to become so dissatisfied with the status quo that they are willing and eager to push ahead into uncharted waters…to change. Simply put, leaders change things.
And this is why, I believe, most churches prefer their pastor to be more passive, docile, and subservient. It’s much easier to keep a passive non-leader in check. Essentially, the mentality of many churches when it comes to their pastor is, “We hired him, so he pretty much belongs to us. If we agree with the vision (or lack thereof) that he casts and if we like what he says from the pulpit, we’ll go along with it. But the minute he leads in a direction we don’t approve of, we’ll step in to remind our hired-man who signs his paychecks and to whom he answers.”
Pastor, while your church board may have hired you, it is God who has called you and it is to Him that you will give an account for how you LED his church! So let me encourage you. Even if your church didn’t think they were hiring a leader, please be the leader your church needs. Lead them into the change that God has placed upon your heart. Cast a huge vision for what God wants to do in and through your church. And then lead! Your church needs your leadership!