“STUFF” IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS. IT HAPPENS TO RICH, POOR, EDUCATED, UNEDUCATED, FAMOUS AND ORDINARY FOLKS. IT HAPPENS TO CHURCH LEAD- ERS AT ALL LEVELSâ€”FROM THE MOST SENIOR LEADERSHIP TO EVERYONE ELSE. NOT ONE OF US IS EXEMPT.
I was born and raised in a Pastor\’s home, I have Pastored, served church leaders as a Christian University President and now serve the church world wide as a leadership consultantâ€”all that to say that I am a child of the churchâ€”church I know.
There are many things about church folk I don\’t understand! I don\’t understand why someone doesn\’t like and trust the Pastor but keeps attending the same church. I don\’t understand how folks saved by grace can be so mean. I don\’t understand how folk who give little or nothing have the most to say. I don\’t understand why those you help the most will leave you first. I don\’t understand why church folks are so fragile and will cop an attitude with little to no provocation. I don\’t understand how church folks can be so territorial over petty things like their seating area and parking spaces. However, these are church folks in the pew.
While that is troublesome, I\’ve been even more troubled by senior church leaders in the pulpit. While church folks in the pew might not know how to respond to situations appropriately much more is expected from senior church leaders in the pulpit. Everyone who knows me knows I\’m totally Pastor-centric. Biblically and humanly speaking Pastors and parents should receive the highest respect, honor and celebration. When stuff happens, I interpret the situation in a leadership context. â€œLeaderâ€ is who I am and â€œleadershipâ€ is what I do.
Senior church leaders not only have personal responsibility but corporate responsibility for the health and well being of the church. However, how senior church leaders respond to stuff when it happens to them sends strong signals to those following their lead.
More is caught than taught.
I don\’t understand how senior church leaders can make major public announcements about their private lives and keep going without missing a beat! The calendar doesn\’t shift. No appointments are canceled. No rehab and recovery time is allocated. It continuesâ€”business as usual. Hence raising the fair question of â€œwhat are they thinking?â€
You may have these “thoughts…”
â€¢ â€œI\’ve served faithfully and to the best of my abilities, now that I\’m going through a tough time in my life, who will walk with me?â€
â€¢ â€œEveryone has a private life, why can\’t I have one too?â€
â€¢ â€œSo many are counting on me for their livelihood such as staffs, budgets have to be met, banks have to be satisfied, we\’re in the middle of a building program…should I just put all this on hold? Won\’t that have a catastrophic effect overall?â€
â€¢ â€œWhy should I let my haters have more to add to their arsenal?â€ Since none of us are exempt or worthy to cast stones at others, we must examine these situations and learn from them.
Here are some lessons I\’ve learned be so territorial over petty things like their seating area and park.
1. Stuff happens
â€”it happens to everyone.
2. Don\’t be too quick to judge
â€”you don\’t know everything.
3. The more you hide
â€”the more it is distorted.
4. Contact your spiritual covering immediately
â€”they ought not find out through others.
5. Communication skills
-that work in pulpit proclamation don\’t work in private.
6. When you mess upâ€”fess up.
7. Apologize to the Kingdom for the harm and injury it might have brought to others.
8. Ask yourself, â€œIf one of my church leaders was going through similar stuff would I allow them to continue as if nothing\’s happening?â€
9. You can\’t continue business as usual
â€”it\’s not! It will never be.
Most of all, organize in such a way as to take yourself out. Take a break to recover, rehab and reestablish yourselfâ€”simply put give it a rest!