Are two heads really better than one? Does anything with two heads really resemble a monster? It all depends on how we look at it.
English writer John Heywood actually coined "Two heads are better than one" in 1546. I am sure he did not realize he was speaking prophetically. But two heads together can work only when God is at the center. King Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, wrote, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble" (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
I have had the privilege and honor to share leadership with some phenomenal men and women in the body of Christ. Each of these experiences incited growth as a person and as a leader. My husband and I share the responsibility of pastoral leadership; we are as different as night and day. Making it work effectively has taken some crucifixion, prayer, fasting, and humility from both of us. It works beautifully now.
Additionally, I share leadership roles in two outreach ministries to leaders. By His Side Ministries is completely led by women. In some places, people would consider women in total leadership a recipe for disaster. It has been quite the contrary; I have learned more about myself and the women I serve with than I ever would have learned just sitting next to them in a worship setting. I learned that women can work together if they allow God to work out their insecurities, areas of immaturity, character flaws, and sin nature—yes, sin nature.
Another ministry, When Pastors Pray, is lead by both men and women. Many people say pastors cannot work together, but that is a lie from the devil. We make it work. God has entrusted pastors with a great deal of authority. While it can be difficult for a pastor to submit to the authority of another pastor, doing so is a form of accountability and a Biblical principle. We demonstrate a great leadership skill: the ability to follow.
They Lead, We Lead
Most leaders lead according to how they are genetically and mentally wired. Plurality of leadership is effective when we are able to balance our leadership style with that of our co-laborers. God made us different on purpose, and he wired us to need each other to be effective.
There is so much research around right-brain and left-brain thinking and how they apply to leadership. Truthfully, I have seen these differences manifested in every capacity in which I have served with other leaders. I believe that most of us are a combination of both, but in certain situations we exhibit traits of either left- or right-brain dominance. For example, in certain situations my husband’s right brain dominates. He sees things in big pictures (a visionary); I need to see the steps to get there. Often, I get stressed the moment he starts talking vision because my mind sees sequential steps. He casts the vision and I walk it out. We often agree on what should be done, but how to get there is a horse of another color. He is long-suffering with people and circumstances; I am let’s-get-it-done-and-over-with. Amazingly, God knew that we would balance each other out. I have learned—and continue to learn—patience.