Top 5 reasons LEADERS become FOLLOWERS

So, I am not an expert on leadership. In fact, I have only been a Lead Pastor for a few months. Even still, there seems to be a phenomenon happening among many church leaders at this level. Surprisingly, it seems many leaders are finding themselves becoming followers instead of moving into deeper levels of leadership. I have served under a variety of leaders and now being one myself, I will now take a stab at identifying a few things to look out for:

Top 5 reasons LEADERS become FOLLOWERS:

1. Pride- This is the leader who thinks too highly of himself. All throughout scripture we find that leadership positions are a gift from God and only through His help can we even achieve what leadership calls of us. Not to mention the Bible is clear that God actually works against the prideful. Too many times do men look at their own achievements and take credit only to have God remind them of their folly. If you are a prideful leader, it is only a matter of time before you are once again a follower learning how little you really matter apart from a relationship with God.

2. Insecurity- The polar opposite of the prideful leader is the insecure leader. Here is the man who has forgotten he is chosen by God for a purpose. This is the man who goes about his responsibilities always apologizing feeling there is someone better than he is for the job. Eventually, the people that this leader leads will be fed up and either follow someone else or simply stop respecting him. Churches are full of leaders who have dug their own graves due to their own self-degradation.

3. Failing to serve-From Isaiah to the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus was a servant leader. He washed feet while simultaneously delivering some of the hardest truths of His teaching. The minute a leader in the church stops seeing his role as a servant, he has already lost his position. You get to lead people because the people you lead have seen you serve them. They allow you to hold position in their lives because you serving them has shown you really love them. That love is what earned you the right to speak into their lives. Pastors who sit behind their desks and admire their titles more than they serve are nothing more than corporate rejects using the church to feel important.

4. Worship of other leaders-Here is the man who spends more time watching other men preach, dream, and create than actually stepping out into the man God has created him to be. It blows me away how many pastors work so hard to create a ministry to reach people with the Gospel and then once created, spend hours online watching other men for an idea of what to do next. I am in no way against looking for new ideas. Why reinvent the wheel? But seriously, if everything you preach, dream, and create is from someone else, don't be surprised when the people you lead follow the men you follow realizing you are just the off brand.

5. Vision confusion-It is impossible for you to lead if you have no idea where you are going. People will follow to a point, but if they sense you have no vision, they are likely to ask you to step in line with them as they follow a leader with direction. As a church planter, I have watched more than a few men plant "a Sunday morning gathering" with no greater vision for what comes next. Many men had vision but it seems circumstances have choked them until they became dizzy and literally their vision died. Leaders must be certain of where they are going and how they intend to get there or they will end up following someone else's vision so they look like they are doing something worth while.

Of course, this blog is somewhat ill titled since in order to be an effective leader in the church one must constantly be a follower of Christ. Hope these thoughts inspired thought and conversation. I pray for strong leaders everyday. One of the major blessings that has fed VOX's growth and stability is the amount of strong, confident, gifted leaders we have. As lead pastor, I am amazed to see leaders at VOX who can teach, preach, lead, serve, etc. I pray we are a breeding ground for this type of person!

Matt Woodburn
Lead Pastor
VOX Church