There has a lot that’s been written about the difference between leading people and managing people. While there can be necessary expressions of both in any leadership role, I believe when it comes to leading as a follower of Christ, one should be far more common than the other. And when it comes to leading within the church, one is crucial, while the other could be terminal for any church. You see, God hasn’t called us to manage people toward Christ, but to lead them toward Christ. So what’s the big difference? Relationships.
When we take the approach to lead people, as opposed to manage them, we communicate that they have value as a person, not just a cog in a wheel. Leading people puts the priority on the relationship, while managing them puts the priority on the task. That doesn’t mean the task isn’t important, but the relationship is more important. God didn’t call us to be pastors/leaders to accomplish more tasks, but to reach more people.
Within the context of church leadership, it is a tragedy when we undermine the greatest vehicle of change God has given us, relationships, just to accomplish a task. What if we could slow down, step back from our long list of tasks, and get our priorities straight? What if we started to recognize people not as a means to an end, but the end itself? The reality is we could accomplish far more if we were willing to invest in the relationships around us, instead the responsibilities we can delegate. This week, rather than trying to be more efficient or accomplishing more (which can both be important in context), try valuing the people around you more. Stop managing and start leading.