When You’re Not the Lead Sled Dog . . . And You’re the Pastor!!

by kensneed2 on June 4, 2012

A Case of Frustration

He’d been pastor there for a few months beyond 2 years, and he still wasn’t in charge.

He’d always assumed that church leadership meant being the lead sled dog and being out front to guide the rest of the pack.

Coming to the church from a parallel pastorate with no change in income, he’d felt good about the change.

There was no pressure to move to his current church.

There was just a sense of doing what God wanted him to do.

Why didn’t he have a feeling of leading instead of being behind a crowd that didn’t seem to be going anywhere in particular?

Any Church Leader Might Be Stymied

It can be a situation any pastor might face.

What do you do when you have the feeling you’re not in control?

Here are some considerations for any pastor to move forward with:

  • This may be the right place to be . . . perhaps God wants you to take a deep breath and practice what you preach. — “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
  • Give your staff  freedom to assist you by being honest with them about your frustration and let them minister to you and help you think through what course the church might take.
  • Maybe it’s time to admit your vulnerability and let God be the Strong One in your church’s and your life.

Vulnerability can be one’s greatest strength

“ But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-11; my emphasis)

  • Retreat — Get away for a few days to pray, study, catch your breath and trust God to give you a plan/direction/energy to dive in and lead, patiently, as He has gifted you to be able to do.
  • Consult with a colleague and allow a friend to help you have an objective and encouraging look from outside of your situation.
  • Don’t stop!  Keep on keepin’ on in your Master’s Name to accomplish the purpose you’re called to with steadfastness and patience, without forcing something to “happen.”

If you’d like to talk to an outside listener to help you think through a dry time or a sticky situation, give me a call and let’s visit for a while.  The number’s 225-773-8883.

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