Alan Wilson* worked as a pastor for just over 20 years: first with Westlake Church in Switzerland, where he spent 17 years, and then with Portstewart Baptist Church on the north coast of Northern Ireland. More recently he has been working on his doctorate, exploring ‘crucible’ experiences in the development of Christian leaders.
Here are two things he has learned about leadership over the years:
1 – This goes for leadership in any sphere. When you are making decisions as a leader, or a leadership team, be sure to consult with the people who are going to be most affected by the decision. Not to do this is poor leadership and easily leads to hurt, resentment and anger. I have observed it (and been guilty!).
2 – More specifically for Christian leaders, remember that it is not ‘by might, or by power, but by God’s Spirit’ that the work gets done. The lesson is dependence. It hit me several years ago when I was a young leader and our church was struggling. I discovered Paul’s reflection that his (far more intense and serious) experience of difficulty was designed so that he would learn not to rely on himself but on God (see 2 Corinthians 1:9). The verse became part of a season for me – and the other leaders of our church – of intentionally stilling ourselves to listen to God (and finding his blessing on our church).
*Apologies for writing about myself in the 3rd person!