I was talking with with a pastor recently. He has made some decisions he feels are best for the church. In listening to him, I think he’s probably making good decisions. They are needed from the perspective of where he sits in the organization of the church. His next step was to present the changes to the church.
I asked him how the staff felt about the changes. He said he hand’t told them yet. He had handled it with the elders and they supported him. They would find out with the church.
Again, I said, “what”?
I watched this happen when I was in manufacturing. When decisions, which affect the assembly line, are made in the boardroom they seldom work and are always resented. The quality of work diminishes and production stalls.
I watched it happen when I was in sales. When sales procedures are handed down as edicts, without including the input of salespeople, morale is damaged, which ultimately has a negative impact on sales.
In this church and several churches I’ve consulted with over the years, I’ve realized it also happens in churches. When the pastor, or a body of senior leaders, make decisions, which impact the children’s ministry, for example, without the input of people who are actually doing children’s ministry, resentment builds, momentum stalls, and people resist the changes.
I have some advice for ministry leaders — really all leaders.
Be careful making decisions from the so-called “Ivory Tower”.
Many leaders lead with a top down approach, passing down decisions without consulting with those who have to live with the decisions made. It’s easy in leadership to forget real people have to implement your decisions. It’s not helpful, inefficient and, frankly, it’s unkind.
Don’t stand in the tower. Get out among the people you lead. Learn from them and let them give input into the decisions made in the organization.
Great leaders build decisions from the ground up, not from the top down.