Bad Pastor or Bad Leader?

At a Pastor’s Gathering last summer, keynote speaker Dr. Wayne Schmidt, Vice President at Wesley Seminary, said this:

              “There are no bad pastors, just bad leaders.”

After I raised my jaw from the floor, I started reflecting on my pastoral ministry. I realized there were aspects of my leadership that had to change. In order for Xalt to get where we needed to be, I needed to grow as a leader and a pastor.

Dr. Wayne Schmidt

Dr. Schmidt knows a thing or two about pastoral leadership.

This phrase has been echoing in my mind every since. Leadership is maybe the most important component of an effective ministry. More important than any program. More important than any worship song, video game, or box of pizza. Leadership is an integral part of vision casting, conflict resolution, the development of student leaders and a volunteer team, and probably most importantly, discipleship. Which when we think about it, is all we are called to do anyway, right?

“Go and make disciples…” is the last statement Christ made to his disciples—it is actually called the Great Commission. We, as Christians, pastors, and ministers, have to understand that you cannot have effective discipleship without leadership. I know of one pastor in Michigan who, at a board meeting, decided to recast their churches mission statement. He brought a 50 page document that, on every page, on every line, said this statement: disciples who make disciples who make disciples who make disciples… you get the picture. Making disciples is what we are called to do and that is not possible without proper leadership. This could be one reason why students are leaving the church after high school—bad leadership.


Tastes like discipleship!

This means, as a Student Ministries Pastor, I have to infuse discipleship into our DNA. As a leader, I cannot shy away from the difficult conversations with students. As a leader, I have to clearly lay out my expectations for my volunteers and invest into my student leaders. Over the past couple months I have realized leadership and ministry go hand-in-hand. I knew leadership was important but I had not realized it was vital like I do now. It is so much more real.

God, help me to be a humble leader. Grant me wisdom and discernment in my decisions and compassion and grace for our students. Help Leslie and I to inspire our students and encourage our volunteers. Help us to me more like You everyday. Lord, help me to be a leader.


About Chase Smith

I am the Student Ministries and Worship Arts Pastor at Trinity Wesleyan Church. I have the best job in the world with help from the best wife in the world serving the best students in the world all praising the best God in the world.

Posted on March 3, 2012, in Leadership, Ministry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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