As Pastors, we all want to do a good job. None of us want to fail the people we serve, but especially the people who have shown the grit and effort to help us lead our churches. Our Leaders are so important to the success of our churches, and they deserve our very best attention and guidance.
Truth is…it’s easy to get distracted, side-tracked, consumed with other things, and lose sight of possibly the most important thing we’re responsible for – Leading our Leaders.
Our good friend Dave Jacobs hits the nail on the head with these points he pulled from Matthew 10 and Luke 10, outlining five common ways some Pastors fail their leaders.
Pastors Fail their Leaders when they:
1. DON’T GIVE THEM AUTHORITY
(Matt.10:1) Jesus gave his leaders authority. We fail our leaders when we don’t give them authority. It can be disheartening when a leader feels that their pastor is constantly looking over their shoulder and puts them on a really short leash rather than a long one.
Sometimes it’s hard for pastors to let go, especially if they are delegating a responsibility they have been doing. Sure, when leaders start out they will make mistakes, they probably will not do as good a job as the pastor would. But think about it, none of us started out as good as we are now.
2. DON’T GIVE CLEAR INSTRUCTIONS & TRAINING
(Matt.10:5) Jesus instructed his leaders. We fail our leaders when we don’t instruct and train them. Recently on my group page a pastor was frustrated with some leaders who weren’t doing a good job. The first thing that popped into my mind was “What training and equipping did they receive before being released into leadership?” In my experience of working with pastors, leadership training and on-going leadership training is often absent.
3. DON’T HELP THEM PRIORITIZE
(Matt. 10:5-6) Jesus prioritized their mission. We fail our leaders when we don’t help them prioritize. First, they were to go to “…the lost sheep of Israel.” The Gentiles would get their chance, but first things first. A common weakness I run into with pastors is a failure to prioritize, and when this is the case it is no wonder that they will not pass this skill on to their leaders. Knowing what is the most important task of their ministry, and then the second most important, and then the third, is not something that comes naturally for all leaders.
4. DON’T PREPARE THEM FOR DISAPPOINTMENT
(Matt.10:16-23) Jesus prepared his leaders for hardship. We fail our leaders when we don’t prepare them for hardship and disappointment. It’s not unusual for new leaders to be all excited about their new assignment, but it doesn’t take long for reality to beat that positive attitude down. The ministry would be great if it wasn’t for people, but being a leader means being with people and people mean disappointment.
5. DON’T CHECK-IN AND CELEBRATE
(Luke 10:17-24) Jesus took the time to debrief and celebrate. We fail our leaders when we don’t check-in, follow up, debrief, and rejoice together around the small and large victories they’ve experienced while carrying out their ministries. Leaders need to hear from us, “What worked well? What didn’t work well? How could I have been a better help to you? Is there anything you might do differently the next time?” And remember, there is always something to celebrate, when you find what it is…celebrate it!