Leadership Takes Time

Success takes leadership and leadership takes time.

A couple of weeks ago on day referred to as Black Monday, seven NFL head coaches lost their jobs. Black Monday (the day after the NFL regular season ends) has become an annual tradition in America’s most popular and competitive professional sport. This year some tenured coaches got the axe:

Andy Read, Philadelphia Eagles, 14 years.
Lovie Smith, Chicago Bears, 9 years.
Norv Turner, San Diego Chargers, 6 years.
Ken Whisenhunt, Arizona Cardinals, 6 years.

But some less-experienced coaches received pink slips as well:

Chan Gailey, Buffalo Bills, 3 seasons.
Pat Shurmur, Cleveland Browns, 2 seasons.
Romeo Crennel, Kansas City Chiefs, 1 season.

There were also a number of General Managers who got canned. Like the coaches who were fired, some of these GM’s had a number of years to get it right, while others were still arranging the shelves in their office.

We live in a fast-paced, demanding, instant gratification culture, where instantaneous results aren’t just preferred, but required. We are wired to gravitate toward “the next big thing.”

Take the example of Katherine Webb. The AP reported today that this former Miss Alabama will now be working as a correspondent for the Super Bowl. That doesn’t sound odd in and of itself. But how did Webb get the gig? She’s dating Alabama’s quarterback and during the National Championship debacl….err…”Game” the camera lingered on her in the stands (not much happening on the field worth watching) and commentator Brent Musburger took the opportunity to drone on about her good looks. Instant stardom. Next thing you know she’s trending on Twitter (meaning–all sorts of people were talking about her in their tweets), she’s the subject of gossip magazines and morning talk shows, and now she’ll be working in front of the camera for the biggest media frenzy of the year on Super Bowl Sunday.

The church world is no different. You go to conferences, talk to pastors, read the latest leadership magazines, and the churches and leaders everyone is talking about seemingly plant a church and within 3 years are running 5,000. Don’t get me wrong, I love learning from great leaders and picking up everything I can from those who have been successful in advancing the mission. I’m blown away by how God works in different contexts. But sadly, I think church leaders and church members can fall into the trap of the “next big thing” as easily as anyone else in culture. New pastors or programs pop up in another local church and transfer growth shifts those looking for the “next big thing” from one pew to another.

True success takes leadership and leadership takes time. Something that God builds to last isn’t going to be constructed overnight. It takes time to build or shift a culture, embed gospel-centered DNA, and capture and communicate the vision of God in a local church. I’ve been in a lead pastor role at a local church for a little over two years and I feel like I’ve barely begun. In a culture that attaches words like “Awesome!” “Wow!” “Amazing!” and “Unreal!” to the next big thing time after time, I think God is looking for leaders who will exemplify words like “faithful,” “consistent,” “real,” “dedicated,” and “steadfast.”

Success takes leadership and leadership takes time.

About Pastor Andrew

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Carissa, Daddy to four daughters, Lead Pastor at LifePoint Church in Vancouver, WA.
This entry was posted in For Pastors, Leadership, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Leadership Takes Time

  1. Nancy Hill says:

    How true, honest, and well written! I am happy to support leadership that is seeking “faithful,” “consistent,” “real,” “dedicated,” and “steadfast.”

  2. Roger_Nolan says:

    Well said

  3. Demetrius Rogers says:

    Amen! Great post.

  4. Dean Goff says:

    Great observation. I was reading about it this morning in proverbs. It is also about character, and integrity. Not just appearance. Leaders need substance that comes from all of the traits you mentioned above. And you are right, they take time to develop. A lot of it is usually developed during struggles and tough times. Not always fun, but a very real and necessary element in the growth process.

  5. Tom Van Osdel says:

    Amen, brother…

  6. Well said Pastor Andrew! A great word that needs to be heard and heeded.

  7. Matthew says:

    Well said Pastor Andrew. This is a word that needs to be heard as well as heeded.

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