Working with LEADERSHIP confronts us with issues hard to dismiss; in fact, they keep agitating in our minds.
For instance, I recently had dinner with a pastor who brought up the subject of success. "You should do a whole issue on it!" he said, and then confided, "You know the article by Dave Mains in your last edition? That was my experience; I could have written the same article." This pastor is now enjoying a great deal of success, but he's acutely aware of how capricious and ephemeral success can be. "I've spoken in some seminaries," he told me, "and I've told students, 'I hope you realize eighty percent of you will be failures.' After their initial shock I explain, 'By the standards and ideas of success you're forming right now, most of you will consider yourselves failures.' "
It made me think of how many ways a pastor can be made to feel like a failure-church splits, small congregations, you name it. It affects all of us as Christian leaders: though stretching for success can be a ...1