Jump directly to the Content

Heart & Soul

Leading isn't easy for a servant. The problem was best described by Craig Barnes, pastor of National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.

"There was a day when we were clear on what it meant to be a leader," he writes. "It meant getting to the top of the organization where it was possible to run things. The great power that was attached to that model was easy to abuse, but it also made it easy to get things done, and it was obvious who was in charge.

"That form of leadership has generally been rejected for many years. We criticized the old bosses as 'hierarchical, top-down managers' and sought a new model of leadership that would empower, enable, and facilitate the aspirations of even the lowliest in the organization. For a while that sounded pretty good. In time, however, what began as a corrective has become something of a problem itself …

"Leadership has now come to mean satisfying the people. Pastors and elders spend enormous amounts of time and energy responding to complaints. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

We Were Seduced by Power
We Were Seduced by Power
Five pastors confess their temptations to manipulate, control, and cling to worldly significance.
From the Magazine
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
Learning to Love Our Neighbor’s Fears
We aren’t all equally afraid of the same things. But Scripture’s wisdom can apply to all of us.
Editor's Pick
When Churches Put Love at the Center
When Churches Put Love at the Center
How "beloved community" helps us envision tangible ways to embody kingdom values.