Tonight, I’ve been thinking about leadership, particularly within the church. I just heard the story of preacher somewhere within the state of Mississippi that did something so incredibly stupid that it made my head hurt.
This action made me mad for a a couple of reasons. But, the main was because this person had been given a group of souls by the church, but more importantly, by God, that he was supposed to take care of. And for some reason that I don’t understand, he didn’t.
Why? Why do people do dumb things? Why do people not see the results of their actions? I don’t know.
But, in truth we all do that. We all do dumb things. We all do not think through our actions. But, for most of us we have more common sense than the person I’m thinking about.
What does this have to do with leadership?At the core, I think leadership is about one thing. Trust. To lead Ripely FUMC, above all, my people have to trust me. They have to trust that God is leading me and that I’m listening to Him. They have to trust that I’m listening to them as well. That I value them. That I know God doesn’t just speak to me, but to all of us.
And sometimes, in fact most of the time, it’s not about what I teach others. It’s about what they can teach me.
And maybe that’s why this person did something terribly dumb. He thought He was the only source of wisdom. It was just him and God. And if the people didn’t listen to him, then they weren’t listening to God. He didn’t trust them. And, because of that, they didn’t trust him, and it all blew up.
Trust. It’s hard to earn. It’s easily lost. And without it, ministry, or any type of leadership is impossible. If we are going to lead, in whatever setting we are in, we have to earn the trust of others.
How? By valuing them. Loving them. Respecting them. Listening to them. Serving them. Know that we as the leader are not the only source of wisdom. Remembering that all wisdom come from God. And in that, they will trust. And we can lead.