Creative LeadershipStrategy & Marketing

The Importance of Leading in Small Places

I think way too often we get enamored with big time leaders, and make that our goal.  We want to influence millions, and look at famous leaders like Jack Welch, John Maxwell, or Seth Godin as models.  All of those leaders are worth studying, but never discount the value or importance of leading in small places.  One changed life can ripple outward and impact millions of people.  Because my father had the courage to break out of a cotton mill in a small North Carolina town back in 1944, my sister and I were able to go to college, and I now produce media that millions of people see.  Had he followed the safe route and spent a lifetime at the mill, who knows where his children and grandchildren would be today?

Teachers in small towns have made a dramatic difference for men and women who have had an incredible impact on history.

Some studies indicate that up to 18,000 pastors and ministry leaders leave the church every year.  I think a significant number leave because of the perceived frustration that they’re not making a difference. But pastors in tiny churches have left their mark in ways that continue to be felt far beyond those small places.

Don’t be frustrated where you are. Leadership at any level matters, and it’s not up to you to decide if you’re making a difference. Very often, making a difference is an invisible thing, that you won’t really see for years down the road.

But it happens.  Even in the smallest of places.

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  1. Phil-
    Without a doubt, this is one of the finest blogs you have ever written. Incredibly insightful and encouraging. Your stock just went way up in my book (and it was already set pretty high.) Keep up the great work and thanks!

  2. We are learning to be content with small stats. We are church planting a faith community geared mainly toward young Creatives and Analytical/Creative Hybrids in Silicon Valley. If we gauge the success of our ministry on numbers alone, this niche group of people who don’t fit the typical church goer would remain unreached and ignored. Each time we are tempted to calculate our effectiveness “by the numbers” God reveals the growth in the hearts of those few we’re reaching. We are left amazed at the fruit instead of frustrated by the stats.

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