March 13, 2011

Why Pastors Fail

In my opinion, but in Seth Godin's terms, it might be because:
You think you're being a leader, but you're probably being a manager.  Managers figure out what they want done, and try to get people to do it.  ...  Leadership is finding the right people, agreeing on where you want to go, and getting out of the way.  Leadership means embracing the failure of your people if it leads to growth.
After the 1:08 mark, things veer directly towards business and marketing, but the first 67 seconds apply directly to any group effort, imho.  Of course it's all worthwhile, because Seth's a genius.  Enjoy - then scroll down for my commentary.

Exclusive interview with Seth Godin from GiANT Impact on Vimeo.  (H/T Michael Hyatt)

First and foremost, I hope this kind of thinking gets into the Epic Fail Pastor's Conference, happening next month in Philadelphia. It's one thing to embrace the fact that Pastors often fail. It's another to shift into a lifestyle of encouraging failure, as a purposeful part of individual and congregational growth.

It's sad that, in some ways, the world knows this much better than Christians do. But it may be that church dynamics are much more complicated than business groups, or artistic teamwork.  (Hmm.  Or maybe not.)  Either way, all of us need to think deeply on this.

Are we seeking to inspire and empower others, so *they* can find ways of contributing, to make our mutual life in Christ become better and better?  Or are we merely attempting to ride herd, or enact our own vision for how things should go?  Are we trying to maintain some particular status quo or a personal vision?  Or are we promoting the growth of others' contributions to the joint effort, come what may?

Perhaps it's not our own failure we're most afraid of; perhaps what we fear most is the failure of others (to live up to our expectations).

And yes, of course, these are difficult questions for me also, in my own church context.  Moreso recently than ever.

Lord, hear our prayer...


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