Optimizing Leadership Amidst Church Adversity – Nu Leadership Series

“Any committee is only as good as the most knowledgeable, determined and vigorous person on it. There must be somebody who provides the flame.”
Lady Bird Johnson

Follow me for a while on a stroll down memory lane. As a child growing up, did you ever have a hero. As a youngster, my mighty deacons awed me. They were so helpful and their prayers lifted our congregation. Church was good. However, I was still a young “bench warmer.” I wasn’t involved in church operations and didn’t understand how it was possible that spiritual people could not get along. Why was this the case? After all, Christianity is built on the concepts of love. Christian folks should be able to get along.

Today, I’m an active member in a congregation and serve as a church leader. I serve as deacon. Well, this Christian service can test your patience and ability to like people. How can this be the case? Well, I’ve seen happy days…but when I became a deacon in 2004, I thought “all hell had broken loose”! I’ve seen personal threats and attacks. Some would argue that their church doesn’t have any problems. What about the early church? St. Paul had to correct congregational problems. In Galatians 5:15, Paul chastised members, “…instead of showing love among yourselves you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out!”

Biblically speaking, churches are engaged in a constant spiritual battle. Is your pastor so great? Someone else may disagree. Gentle, author of What Pastors Wish Deacons Knew, writes, “Sometimes, a pastor will have a member dealing him continuous misery….If a member is harassing your pastor, he isn’t a sleeping dog, he’s a biting dog….” How can a leader survive these treacherous slopes? The Bible responds in Galatians 5:22, “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us.”

Therefore, leaders shouldn’t expect an easy ride even in this religious environment. Take the first step. Start today!


Gentle, D. (n.d.). What Pastors Wish Deacons Knew. Received on February 21, 2006 on http://www.baptiststart.com/pastors_deacons.htm

New Living Translation Bible (1996)

© 2006 by Daryl D. Green