Written by cycleguy on September 17th, 2012

Warning: this is not a post about getting along.  However…


I very seldom write or talk about people from the church I pastor or others I work with.  I don’t want them to get big heads you know?  Besides, I don’t even think any of them read my blog, including the secretary.  🙂  I think I will have to bribe her with lunch to get that done.  But since we have a pact that we won’t be seen together in public without our spouses, that is infrequent.  Whew!  She could blackmail me with “I will read your blog if you take me to lunch.”  That would get expensive!  Anyway…

I am one of the leaders of the church.  I am not the head honcho, “The Pastor” as some would like to be known.  I believe in a plurality of elders/leaders, with no one person taking credit.  My official title is Lead Pastor (for what its worth), but I am only one of the leaders.  The three guys that lead alongside me are good men.  One is retired; one works at the FedEx flight tower in Indy; and one is a school teacher.   All three live full lives, filled with family, work and projects.  And every one of them loves this church community.  We have agonized over some things; laughed hilariously over some things; pondered some things; and even dismissed some things (mostly my hair-brained ideas).   We are meeting in a few minutes (it is Monday afternoon as I write this) to discuss some things, but also to make a very important presentation to the church this coming Sunday.   Simply put: I work in the church with some awesome guys as leaders.

Leadership is like that.  I know there are some who of the persuasion that the Pastor is the one who has the last say in everything.  He attends every meeting.  He knows who gives and how much.  His stamp of approval must be upon everything before it sees the light of day.  One word sums up my feelings:  UGH!  Leadership is not done in a vacuum.  I think a man needs his head examined to even want to be that much in control.  I will never forget attending a leadership seminar several years ago and the leader (also a pastor) said he wanted to know who gives and how much.  Not this boy!  That is entirely too much pressure and frankly none of my business what another person gives.  I like the “feel” of this leadership team.

How about you?  Do you work as “the know all” guy?  Does your church work on a plurality of leaders?  Does your leadership agonize over decisions with prayer and time?  If you are a leader, do you have trouble sharing the load? Do all things have to go through you?  Just curious. 


35 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan says:

    2 thumbs up on this blog! 🙂

  2. Daniel says:

    I work as the the main man. Those who I supervise I watch over carefully. Sometimes this is necessary because the equipment is very expensive and delicate, and needs to be dealt with in very specific ways. Sometimes by careful supervision is unnecessary but I like things done a certain way even when there are several ways to get there. I am still working on this. As for my church, I don’t know much about what goes on behind the scenes. It could be my pastor is secretly a tyrant who kicks his dog when he won’t eat his kibble. (smiles) Good luck this week.

    • cycleguy says:

      I know there are times, as you state, where someone has to take the lead. I am willing to do that when necessary (our current Building Team is a perfect example). I love your sense of humor about Rob. 🙂

  3. Bill, I have always been in churches where THE PASTOR is the one who God called to be THE MAN. It’s worked well for a short period of time in the the Church, so I see no reason to change it. 🙂

  4. Jeff says:

    Organization management theory. A subject I have enjoyed studying since college days.
    The old saying “A camel is a horse designed by a committee” doesn’t make one think group decision making gives the best results.
    Each organization is different and I don’t think there is a one size fits all answer. I generally prefer a strong, competent leader along with proper oversight by a board or committe that has their head involved and their hands uninvolved.
    The buck needs to stop somewhere.
    A centralized command and control system (i.e. the military or General Motors)may work but I tend to prefer a decentralized approach with decisions being made by the empowered person closest to the problem that is being worked on.
    In a church I suppose that means the Youth minister, or worship leader, or adult minister making the decisions that affect the outcome of the area they serve. With oversight by others chosen for their oversight abilities.
    I have been involved with several non profit boards and find too often the board members are not qualified and little more than yes men for whatever is proposed. This is often a disaster.
    Good leaders are not going to dwell on minutia they don’t need. The leader that needs to know how much people give seems more of a drama queen than a leader. How could that possibly affect a decision?
    I have never used prayer as part of the process but I suppose it doesn’t hurt.

    • cycleguy says:

      Great insight Jeff and I appreciate you sharing your expertise. I know the buck stops somewhere and ultimately it will come down to me for the most part, but I do like having people to bounce things off of. I don’t want to micromanage any staff person so give them plenty of leeway (or rope to hang themselves) 🙂 Thanks again for your expertise.

  5. Eileen says:

    I am just a volunteer leader at my church. I have been in leadership roles for about 7 years now. For the past 3 years, I’ve been the WBS leader. I have learned to delegate the load. When I first started leading, I stunk at delegation but delegating helps bring out the gifts of others! And, where I am weak…they are strong.

  6. I serve (as an elder) along side my pastor and another elder…it’s a great team. We have bi-weekly elder meetings and one with our wives as well. Having our wives involved (because the truth is…they already are) adds so much to our decision making process, their perspective is so valuable. Prayer is a focal point of every meeting and this month we are fasting as a team together. I so love the way we relate to each other…I agree Bill, we can’t lead in a vacuum!

  7. Craig says:

    I struggle with control. I own that. Learning how to manage ministries/projects without having to be in control of every aspect.

    It helps having a wife who is in full-time management in retail. She knows all about management, delgation, and getting things done 🙂

    Juli & I have been introduced to a pretty amazing ministry opportunity at our church. Add this to our youth group on Wednesdays, and our small groups on Mondays & we’ll get overwhelmed quick if we try to control it all. I’m delegating. Getting several guys involved out of my men’s group. Protecting my time at home so that our marriage is strong.

    I’m learning as I go. Glad Juli is patient!

  8. lindaM says:

    Hi Bill,
    If church were brought down to prayer, ministry, and response I wonder how many of the people we have in church today would stay. The church does have to decide what its purpose is.

    I think that too much goes on at ‘church’. This occupies too much time that the believer should have to use elsewhere. This is the purpose of leadership, to keep people tied as much as possible to the church building or ‘system’.

    This ‘system’ of having church as we know it today has not produced the desired results of changed lives and hearts through the Holy Spirit. Yet, church leadership continues to defend this ‘system’ and keep it going.

  9. Steve Martin says:

    We share the load. The pastor preaches and we all have our tasks. It all gets done. The Lord always provides.

  10. floyd says:

    I think a great leader is one that gets the most out of everyone around them. The wise leader listens to everyone and is humble enough to not have to be right or have his or her way. When a leader takes their pride out of the way and seeks God’s will in all matters things just seem to work out better in all ways.

    The preacher that wanted to know who was giving and how much is the epitome of failing flesh manifesting itself in God’s church… In my opinion.

  11. tcavey says:

    All I can say is God bless you. I’m thankful God has not called me into a church leadership role. I can’t imagine the pressure, I only know I could only begin to handle it by the grace and with the strength of God.

  12. Betty Draper says:

    We saved in a pastorial leadership only church. We found this to be very frustsrating…dangerous really. We were both trained in this kind of leadership. Then we went into the training with New Tribes which is plurality of leadership and found it refreshing, but also with its own frustrations at times such as a decision taking longer then it would under pastorial leadership. We certainly think plurality of leadership is the less dangerous. My husband has been in leadership for most of our Christian life even though he never went seeking it, it came to him. He was just being faithful to do what was before him to the best of his God given ability. Neither one of us want to go back into a church with only one leader…even though there are times one person has to step up and take charge. Our last year on the field my husband had to carry the whole role of leadership in our region due to a shortage of personel. Even though he reached out to other men in different regions for imput but the final decisions fell to him. We came home totally drained from the load. Just that alone is one reason we know plurality of leadership works better. Thank God it was only for a season though.

    I think my brother you are a wise man along with the men who lead with you to practice New Testement principals for church leadership.
    All of us need someone to keep us accountable, someone willing to call us on issues if need be. Keep pressing on in your roles.

    • cycleguy says:

      No wonder you and Ace were tired and ready to come home. To have to do it all would be taxing in the states, let alone overseas in a climate where all hinges on you. Thanks for the kind words in your last paragraph.

  13. Desert Jim says:

    Good post Bill. I wonder how the people who lead without any other involvement can teach others how to lead so as to develop current leaders and train up tomorrow’s leaders? Those leaders tend to lead short-lived organizations.

  14. I have no desire to be the “end-all-be-all” and delegation is a beautiful thing. If we say we’re a team then we need to live it out! Sometimes it can be more difficult this way, but when it all shakes out, you can’t point to one person who “made it all happen” and that’s wonderful. Great post, Bill.

  15. Everything is ultimately congregational, but we do have a pastor that is the chief leader of the church. There are several other leaders, but they are under him – although it ends up working out like a marriage: one is technically over the other, but both work well enough together that rarely does that authority have to be used, if that makes sense.

  16. Mike says:

    I love your attitude about leadership in the church. I don’t think any one man should be in charge of any organization. Plurality of leadership is the way to go in my opinion. As for who is giving what, that is between God and the giver. I have been around men who want to be in charge, I don’t usually hang around them for long. Sounds like some great guys you get to share in leadership with. Good for you.

    • cycleguy says:

      thanks Mike. As you can guess, I also go for the plurality of leadership. I don’t hang around people who want to be in charge either. They tend to be overbearing.

  17. quarterheeb says:

    Well, consider yourself blackmailed, Boss. I DO in fact read many of your blogs and now you owe me lunch! 🙂

    “The Secretary”

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