A pastor wears many hats and has many designations. He preaches, counsels, and teaches, along with many other duties. However the most important description given to him is that of a leader. A pastor may be an average speaker but he must be an excellent leader. Followers need a leader. The success of a church depends largely upon the ability of the pastor to lead. Dr. Lee Roberson often stated, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Every pastor must accept the responsibility that the success of the church is dependent upon his leadership.
To be a leader means that you must have followers. A strong leader will attract loyal followers. Only a poor leader makes decisions without the support of his members. The key element of leadership is to equip and strengthen the followers. A preacher can rule like a dictator or he can lead like a shepherd. A shepherd will make many more sacrifices than a dictator. In sports the role of a coach is to motivate his team. Failure to motive his players reveals a coach’s inability to lead.
Being a leader requires courage. The pastor’s role is to lead people where they need to be rather than support them where they are. If people are not faithful to Sunday night don’t stop the Sunday night service. Rather teach them to be faithful. If people are worldly in their dress and conduct teach and challenge them to be faithful. If people are dressing worldly and listening to worldly music teach them what you know is right and help challenge them to change. Some people may get upset and leave but leadership is having the courage to teach the whole counsel of God.
The requirements for a leader are greater than the requirements for the members. Pastors must accept the greater responsibility laid upon them as part of their role in leadership. You can’t expect others to witness if you don’t. You can’t expect others to give if you don’t. You can’t expect others to live holy lives if you don’t. You must accept the challenge to work harder, sacrifice more and be more faithful than anyone else in the church. The Apostle Paul made it clear that this was his attitude. “Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; . . . 2 Corinthians 6:3-5.
One of the traits of strong leadership is to do it with a loving spirit. Moses is the most prominent figure in the Old Testament and though he was a great leader he was also a meek man. Meekness does not equal weakness. Weak leaders fail to elevate the spiritual life of believers. Accommodation does not lead people it only promotes selfishness and worldliness. People need leadership and without it chaos will prevail. Be brave and be a leader.