This morning I was listening to the radio and overheard the announcement that Steve Jobs, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple, is taking his second medical leave in two years. Throughout the day I’ve listened to coverage here and there about Mr. Jobs leave, and how this might negatively affect Apple. Comments about nervous employees and stock prices potentially dropping were just a couple of the problems that experts were making note of as panels discussed the situation.
Now, let me make this clear, I AM A HUGE APPLE FAN! But it troubles me to see such a brilliant company rest its own stability on the shoulders of one man . . . no matter how brilliant he is. As I was processing and taking in all the hype surrounding this story it occurred to me that most churches do the same thing, we place way too much attention on the Senior Pastor. I’ve seen strong churches crumble once their Pastor passed away or resigned.
But we could take this a step further . . . what about Ministries within our churches. When you think of your Youth Department, does one main leader pop into your head or do you recognize a team . . . a movement that is taking off and thriving? What about your Kids Ministry? Does its success rest on the shoulders of one person, or does it rest on the shoulders of a group of people committed to making an impact in the lives of kids for the glory of God?
Bottom line: Steve Jobs is an amazing leader! One of the best. I can only dream of having a fourth of the talent that guy has, BUT I believe, from a leader’s standpoint, getting too much attention can one day put your company, your church, or your ministry in a bad situation. Eventually your not going to be around . . . and then what will happen?
If leaders can grasp a team concept and promote this idea throughout the church then their future is better off. Something that I need to ask myself daily is what would happen if I moved away or died tomorrow . . . how would my absence affect the ministry I lead?
Here are some other questions I need to always keep in mind:
1. Am I setting up systems that are clear to others and can be run without my support?
2. Am I promoting the right leaders within the ministry I lead so that if something happens to me a replacement could easily be found?
3. Do I talk more about my accomplishments OR my team’s accomplishments?
4. What am I doing to ensure that the ministry I lead gets more attention than me?