Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Vision v. Control

Vicky and I were talking the other night and the question was asked:

Where is the line between providing leadership and vision for a church and "trying to control too much"?

How do you know where that line is?

What are the signs that you've crossed it?

I definitely need to hear from you on this one.



Heath Powers said...

If we feel the need to control, I expect we're dangerously close to the line. I desire to see a work of the Spirit among a people who are led by the Spirit. Part of my job as pastor is to lead people to the Leader and see what God can do through willing vessels. What do you think?

Kelly Reed said...

Good point Heath. My phrasing didn't convey this well enough, but I'm asking more from the perspective of those on the receiving end of Leadership/Control.

Many pastors are hailed for providing great leadership/vision while others are disliked for "too much control" when they may be doing much the same things.

What is it that distinguishes the two?


Heath Powers said...

Good question. I expect that some of those hailed for their leadership and vision are also criticized for being too controling. The exception is probably the pastor who loves. Even those who do not "catch the vision" probably speak well of the pastor who loves.
Many in my congregation love their church a whole lot more than I do. It's part of their history, a place where they've heard God speak, the people they consider their best of friends. With that knowledge I would do well to lead them with respect, and I had better pray. It is not good enough to lead them toward my vision. I need a vision from God, and I need to respect their ability to hear his voice too. Leadership has a lot to do with relationship in my mind. Of course, I don't consider myself a very good leader. I would rather follow any day. Just trying to do what I'm called.
I enjoyed thinking about these things. I don't know how well I answered your question, but thanks for bringing it up.

Kelly Reed said...


I'm much the same way, it's more natural for me to be a follower. But that is not what God has called me to be in the role of a pastor.

Respect and Love are the foundation of true leadership. But since it doesn't come naturally or charismatically, it's easier for us to lead poorly with poor acceptance of it. I know I need continual prayer to improve my leadership abilities and continual grace and forgiveness from those whom I may upset.

Thanks for thinking about this with me.