Let’s face it, there are much easier things to do than be a leader in the local church.
Especially easier than being a pastor leading toward a clear vision.
Pastors who are committed to pursuing God’s unique Great Commission call for their church face more than their share of obstacles. Last week, I had some time with three ministers from different parts of the country and varying denominational backgrounds who have all spent the last year in the complex work of leading with the simple clarity of a Vision Frame. These leaders related stories of transitioning staff members in conflict with the vision, and having hard conversations with high-capacity donors, and even watching core families leave the church over personal preferences that fell outside of the church’s defined strategy for making disciples.
However, even during difficult days, each pastor could see the value of clarity despite the high cost of leadership.
There are much easier things to do in the local church than to lead toward a clear vision. Come to think about it, it’s really much easier to not lead with clarity at all.
Here are 10 reasons it’s better to be unclear as a pastor:
1. Hard decisions never have to be made, because every idea is a good idea.
2. Staff meetings are more fun when you can laugh and talk about stuff, without the burden of execution.
3. You can always tell an anecdotal feel good story to refute any criticism, because who can argue with a salvation from 2003?
4. Doing everything and complaining about being busy, obviously makes you important and irreplaceable.
5. Besides, it takes too much work to grow and develop leaders, it’s much more simple to just do it yourself.
6. It keeps you from “getting too far ahead” of God… as if that’s even possible.
7. It keeps you dependent on the Holy Spirit, who evidently avoids spreadsheets and thoughtful planning.
8. It keeps you giving all the glory to Jesus when things go well, and confused on who to blame when they don’t.
9. Because the church is no place for business principles like direction, motivation and success measurements.
10. Finally, because there is always another church you can pastor, and you have at least 3 years of good message material.
If any of these reasons make you laugh just a bit uncomfortably, maybe it’s time for a leadership gut check. Are you willing to do what it takes, even when it’s not easy, to lead toward God’s vision for your church?