There have been plenty of stories recently about pastors and other ministry leaders failing or falling from grace. This isn’t one of those stories. This post is about pastors and leaders with teams who don’t trust them to keep their word. Keep in mind, these aren’t bad people, and I’m not talking about outright liars. I’m talking about leaders who’ve spent so many years changing their mind, making rash decisions, or back peddling, their closest friends and employees can’t trust their decisions anymore.
It happens for a number of reasons:
1) They may be people pleasers and say what people want to hear – even though they have no intention of following through.
2) They make impulse decisions, and later realize what they said wasn’t smart.
3) They make decisions without getting good advice, and have to back pedal later.
4) They get caught up in the emotion of the moment, and make decisions and public statements they later regret.
Ministry consultant and blogger Tony Morgan says: “We need to make sure we deliver on our word. If we can’t or don’t plan to follow through, we shouldn’t say it. The problem is that leaders are people pleasers. We’re afraid to tell the truth if the truth might cause someone to dislike us. In the long run, though, I’d much rather deal with dislike than foster distrust.”
One of the most insightful leadership experts in the church today is Dr. Sam Chand. He’s written an excellent book called “Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code.” Get the book. Any leader can find an enormous amount of information in that book about trust and how to create a powerful organizational culture. Sam says:
A. Everything rises and falls on trust.
B. Trust is the currency of human interaction.
C. Trust happens daily between people and organizations at all levels.
D. Poor behavior by many leaders in all sectors of life has created a general culture of mistrust.
Here’s the bottom line: Your decisions matter because they provide the foundation for how your team performs. If your word can’t be counted on, chaos happens because your team has lost their compass.
Stop making decisions based on emotion, impulse, or anything other that the right information, serious reflection, experience, prayer, and advice. Make decisions that can be counted on today, tomorrow, and well into the future.
I can guarantee your team will thank you, and the results will be astonishing.