Monday, March 23, 2009


One of the things that I'm going to do @ my new blog address is do more personal thoughts and reflections.

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.


  1. Great thoughts Andy. A very succesful pastor in TN told me that good leadership meant making good decisions. I have myself, and have seen others become the only source of wisdom on any given subject. The only time that our preferences should come before the good of the people we lead is when there is a possible compromise in the will of God. I think it is important as leaders to back away from a situation or decision and say to the people, "you mean more to me than this does." To the people of RFUMC, ya'll got a good leader. I'll never be quoted as saying that again! ;)

  2. AMEN, brother! it's all about trust!

  3. Thanks for this, Andy. Trust is one of the hubs for the community of faith. I'll share a great little soundbyte that Ann Kaufman shared with me a few weeks ago: "We aren't the Shepherd. We're the sheepdogs."

    Now that I know you're here, I'll have to place you on my blogroll at Being Re:Imagined.



  4. I like that. Bishop Ward talks about leading from the center. I like that image. Leadership is more than being the "boss" it's about helping all us better understand who God wants us to be.