From time to time everyone is late. We live in a world of distractions, and everything from traffic, last minute phone calls, to all kinds of emergencies make us late from time to time. The key phrase here is “from time to time.” But what happens when leaders (particularly pastors) are chronically late? Let me tell you something I hear from office, team, and church staff members all the time:
Our CEO never shows up on time for meetings, so the entire staff just sits for up to an hour waiting.
The worship service often starts late because the pastor isn’t available or we can’t find him.
The boss’s secretary has to regularly cancel appointments because he can’t be there as scheduled.
We’ve stopped scheduling anything to do with the Pastor because we never know if he’ll show up.
The pastor keeps the media department waiting to shoot video segments.
We never know how to plan Sunday services because we don’t get any information from the pastor until it’s too late.
Here’s what situations like this communicate:
1. The leader doesn’t value other people’s time.
2. His schedule is far more important than anyone else’s.
3. Being late is acceptable.
4. The leader doesn’t have his act together.
Does this sound like an organization you want to invest your future in? Chronic lateness is a far bigger issue than many leaders think. It’s a window on your values, your concern for others, and your inability to plan for the future. But in some churches it’s become such a part of the culture that the staff doesn’t know anything else.
Here’s a good meeting cost calculator. Next time you have a scheduled meeting, enter the information and start this clock on time. When he finally shows up, show him how much his tardiness has cost.
Maybe that will break through and get his attention….