There are unfortunately too many of them: leaders whose direction is determined by which way the wind is blowing rather than from an internal conviction. It is a posture of fear (I don't want to go where others are not going) and of perceived popularity (If I go where others are going I will be considered a good leader). Whatever the motivation, both are deeply harmful and confusing to the organization and staff.

Many church leaders are weather vanes. They seek to perceive where the people are and then advocate for that position. Of course this ignores the fact that most people will opt for the comfortable rather than the missional. The word for church leaders is often Shepherd. Shepherds don't follow the flock, they lead the flock. If all you do is follow the flock of sheep you will wander forever without a destination - the fate of many churches.

Weather vane leaders lead out of insecurity rather than personal conviction. This creates chaos for staff as the direction can change without waning. Those changes of direction can also be caused by leaders who chase the latest trend or strategy in the ministry world. It all adds up to confusion and unstable leadership.

We often confuse representative government with church leadership. Now certainly church leaders cannot move in directions that people will not follow. The definition of a leader is that they have people following. However, church leaders are tasked with helping their people move in directions that will fulfill God's plan for the church rather than our plans or our comfort zones. This is not always the popular direction and it is usually not the comfortable direction. Weather vane leaders are unable to do the hard or uncomfortable thing even when it is in the best interests of their people.

Reminder. My new book, Deep Influence: Unseen Practices That Will Revolutionize Your Leadership, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

  • Sep 03, 2014
  • Category: News
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