One of my main jobs is to lead the church. Some people would place leadership above preaching and teaching as the main responsibility of a church pastor.
With that in mind, I want to share with you three laws which are “unbreakable.” Of course, anything can be broken. The following three laws can be broken, but if they are, they will likely break you and break your leadership.
Here are three areas which are of primary importance for the person called to shepherd the church.
First, you must model what you teach. You can’t teach what you don’t model. The “do as I say not as I do” leader simply won’t get it in a church–or in a business, a marriage, or parenting. Most people don’t learn by hearing. Rather, they learn by seeing. Whatever you model is what others are going to do. Paul famously told the church at Philippi to do what they had seen him do.
One of the things I have told other pastors is that whatever you do, the church also will do. If you whine, complain, fuss, or fight, the church will learn the same. I have used this story: The first time you get frustrated and walk huffily out of a meeting, the next time you have a meeting, someone will do that to you.
You will have taught them to do so.
Model Godly behavior and you will see Godly behavior in your church.
Second, confidentiality must be sacred.
Keeping confidence is one of the sacred principles of our pastoral team. We must treat the hurts, habits, and failures of other people with the same confidentiality we want ours to be kept.
If you can’t keep people’s confidences confidential, you will not get many chances to do so. When I was growing up, we had a pastor that most people knew not to share anything of deep hurt. They knew it would become public–possibly even in a sermon. That pastor had no counseling load!
Third, people will follow positive leadership and resent negative leadership.
When you look at the Apostle Paul, you see a person who never shied away from issues, but when possible he sought to deal with them in a positive light. People gravitate to positive leaders. Ronald Reagan was a likeable person and a positive leader. He made people believe in him and in themselves.
His positive outlook on life encouraged a whole nation.
I want to encourage you to think about these three areas. Let them become part of who you are and you will lead well and the church will be blessed.