Some pastors make great bosses—and some don’t, says Thom S. Rainer, president and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources.
“In the course of three decades, I have seen some pastors thrive and some pastors fail,” he wrote at his website, ThomRainer.com. “And I have seen two common reasons for pastors failing. They lack leadership skills and they lack relational skills.”
He continued, “Most pastors have no formal training in either. Yet they are expected to lead and relate the first day they begin serving a church. Indeed, many pastors are expected to be bosses of full-time or part-time personnel even though they may have never led anyone.”
Rainer recently asked readers of his leadership blog about what makes a pastor a great or terrible boss. Here’s what he found.
- Cast a clear vision and path.
- Support other ministries.
- Create a fun atmosphere.
- Provide a good role model and example.
- Be decisive.
- Include other staff as part of the team.
- Have the backs of your staff.
- Listen well.
- Support the staff member’s family.
- Communicate frequently and clearly.
- Avoid conflict.
- Avoid making decisions.
- Steal credit.
- Shift blame.
- Hoard information.
- Fail to listen.
- Set a poor example.
- Have a poor work ethic.
- Neglect staff development.
THOM S. RAINER (@ThomRainer) is President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources.