The Nuevo Unforgivable Sin

Posted on June 22, 2010


From the June 2010 KFAX Pastor’s Letter:

Leadership” and “Management“. While seemingly synonymous, and possibly in the same gene pool, “cousin” is as close as they get. Like a person’s hand–the flesh tone is the same, the number of fingers match, everything bends at the same points, but the thumbs are on opposite sides. So it is with leadership and management. One is a visionary, the other an administrator; one a telescope, the other a microscope.

Leadership can be simply defined as “doing the right things”; management can be defined as “doing things right.” Management skills will help you climb the ladder of success. Leadership skills determine which wall to lean the ladder against.

Leadership generates vision, values and purpose, which in turn creates action. Management, on the other hand, channels the action leadership creates and keeps it moving. Leadership is mostly personal. Management is typically impersonal. Leadership appeals to a follower’s intuition and emotion; it points the way. Management speaks to a follower’s raw intellect with facts and figures; it keeps us on track.

Leadership without management is all breadth and no depth; style without substance.

Management without leadership is, as someone has put it, “like straightening deck chairs on the Titanci.”

Leadership and management are the building blocks of every church, blocks tucked neatly around the Chief Cornerstone. Christ’s bride couldn’t exist without both roles firmly in place and executed at a high level. Unfortunately, every pastor, whether mandated or not, is expected to provide both qualities. And whereas there’s a slice of the other in each of us, we’re either one or the other. Nobody can do both well.

Each role is a full-time job. And each is a measuring stick by which are ministries are evaluated. Dull sermons we can forgive. Long prayers will ultimately end.

But confused leadership or gross mismanagement is the nuevo unforgivable sin.

— VIA —

I suppose I recorded this on this date because of the emotional and spiritual state I’m personally feeling with the sentiments and senses I get that in the church, we commit this “nuevo unforgivable sin” all the time. Walters encourages us to “know and exercise your gift” as a starting point. Second, to find and empower others with complementary gifts. While this is all well and good, I simply, honestly feel as if I’ve been working in churches that lack this to high degrees. I’m open to my perceptions being wrong, or my ego being a distraction, and I will continually work hard to be objective, and diligently discipline my attitude. However, to date, my conclusion is one of disillusionment, drain, and deflation.

Why is this so hard? Why is this so difficult? Why do so many, in positions of power and authority forsake the higher calling of leadership for the settling existence of mediocrity?