Weekly Thought – January 17, 2017
Fred believed leadership was both science and art – skill and intuition. He spent most of his life studying great examples and applying them to his experiences and for the benefit of others.
Leadership More Than A Position
As the son of a preacher, I noticed a curious thing growing up. People in church leadership positions didn’t necessarily know how to lead.
My father pastored a number of small churches in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Unfortunately, many of the people were inexperienced in management. Factory workers who ran plant machinery by day came to board meetings at night and tried to become executives. It didn’t work. Even in my early teens, I could sense the ineptness.
As employees, they had no experience in good leadership and they were incapable of offering anything to the church in the way of management skills. They assumed places of leadership without having leadership training. I watched day-laborers with warped ideas of what it meant become absolute dictators in the church.
One of these men would suddenly become chairman of the board. He did not know anything about organization, future planning, human dynamics, or vision. He didn’t practice organizational leadership in his job or even in his family. Yet suddenly he became a mini-mogul.
Worse yet, most of these people failed to recognize their lack of training or ability. They assumed the title and the position gave them the authority they needed. They did not understand leadership is a function. It isn’t license to order others around, but it is a service performed for the good of the whole group.
I struggled as I watched my Godly, people-oriented pastor father defeated over and over by his lack of political and management skills. He was revered as the “padre of the slums” in the mill district of Nashville where he pastored for years. I saw him outmaneuvered and broken down by the power brokers, even in a small church.
My mother was the manager. She saved us from starvation in the depression era. She stretched $125 per month my father earned to feed all seven of us. How I wished that church leaders had the organizational skills of my mother.
These experiences convinced me of the value of an orderly way of doing things. I grew up wanting to be a leader – not just to occupy a position of leadership, but to perform capably.
This week think about: 1) Why do I want to be a leader? 2) Who demonstrates the true nature of leadership? 3) How can I recognize leadership talent and provide training?
Words of Wisdom: “It (leadership) isn’t license to order others around, but it is a service performed for the good of the whole group.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching.” (1 Timothy 5:17 NET Bible)