If you are a church leader actually trying to lead, can I give you some advice?
You must learn how to lead with patience.
Achieving unity and developing focus take a significant period of time. I’ve seen many church leaders make bad decisions with unnecessary consequences simply due to a lack of patience. If you came up with a strategy yesterday, don’t expect the church to get it by next Sunday.
We must have enough time to follow through with some specific action plans. I often see churches in disarray often not because of poor plans but limited patience.
- If you come up with a new model for a ministry, give your church time to flesh it out.
- Before you claim one system isn’t working, consider if enough time has been given to develop it.
- Don’t fix a program problem with just another program.
- Just because you preached a great sermon on it doesn’t mean that everyone’s lives are fixed.
- Just because you held one event does not mean that all the people who attended are changed thoroughly.
- Just because you made an announcement doesn’t mean that the people understood it.
If you don’t, you run the risk of giving your church ministry whiplash swerving them from one change to the next. You might complain and think your church just “doesn’t get it,” but have you ever considered maybe you haven’t given it to them yet? You might be a part of the disconnect problem.
If your church doesn’t “get the vision,” it may be because it is still new to them. Think about it this way:
- When a worship team introduces a new song and the people don’t immediately pick up on it, realize that you have listened, rehearsed, and led that song numerous times, but your church just heard it once.
- When a ministry leader casts vision for a new initiative and pushback or a lack of enthusiasm is evident, realize it may be because you’ve been praying, planning, and articulating the concept for months, and they’ve only heard it once.
- When you announce something once in the midst of a lot of distractions, don’t get upset because they don’t have the same amount of knowledge as the one who put the whole event together.
Take your time, and give them time.
Jesus is patient with you; learn how to be patient for those He entrusted to you.
The Lord’s servant must not quarrel, but must be gentle to everyone, able to teach, and patient,2 Timothy 2:24
If you are called to lead a church, you must learn how to lead with patience. A refusal to give people time to process change might reveal more about your immaturity than theirs.
Don’t quarrel about it.
Be gentle as you are leading.
Teach them thoroughly.
And be patient as you do it.
Because Jesus sure has been patient with you.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.