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  • I'm a creator, entrepreneur, author of DREAM YEAR, and aspiring novelist. My wife Ainsley and I live in Virginia Beach with our five kids Wyatt, Dylan, Cody, Annie & Millie

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Hey Ben,

I feel this way AND I pastor. What should I do?

Yes!! Paul often described himself as a "servant" (lit "slave"). Rarely (ever?) did he call himself a leader. And yet somehow in the Christian world we've made leadership the goal. Nothing wrong with being a leader - but there's nothing wrong with not being freaking Bill Hybels either. (and I love him, btw) My guess is there are a lot of pastors who feel inadequate as leaders, and this probably is because they are gifted differently. I know I'm that way. Makes me laugh out loud that Shaun feels this way too...because dude, you just need to keep doing what you're doing in the unique way you're doing it. Your kind of radical servanthood is inspiring a ton of people. The "leadership" that we pastors grew up with in the 90s is tired. Time to move on to a broader definition. Thanks Ben for being honest about it.

I use to describe myself as a dreamer, but after a while I realized i was just dreaming and not doing.

I am a doer now

I understand the place where you are coming from. But at the same time, leadership is a gift listed in the Bible, so I would disagree that its not a relevant title that people can have. Now, I agree that many Christian leaders are title hungry and there is way to much emphasis on leadership in the body of Christ IMHO. Needs to be more emphasis on making disciples and seeking God, although I do see a resurgence of that which is great.

I would actually argue that what you are doing in serving other people's visions is leadership. You may not want to call it that, but reality is when you serve someone else's vision and add value to their life, guess who they are going to look at as a leader. You. That's how Jesus modeled leadership.

As far as it being unique to the christian subculture, it may be emphasized but that's a little bit of a stretch I think. I have lots of friends, not in the Christian subculture but that work for Fortune 500 companies that go to leadership trainings all the time. As you well know, better than me, Catalyst gets people to speak every year outside of the christian subculture that talk about leadership.

As far as your last paragraph goes, i completely agree. I think we should put more emphasis on doing and less on titles. Interesting thoughts none the less. And BTW, you can call yourself whatever you want, makes no difference to me, You'll always be a leader to me;)

it almost sounds like you're saying everything doesn't rise and fall on leadership.


isn't that akin to heresy?

many may not see it this way, but this is one of the best things i've read from you, Ben!

thanks for the great feedback. Ross nice push back... Shaun I think we keep doing what we're doing

and thanks for hitting the LIKE button. I almost killed that this morning.

Keep the LIKE button, Ben. I use it regularly on blogs and other sites. Low-barrier-to-entry way to make note that I find the post interesting/valuable/memorable.

GREAT thoughts Ben. I love that you share what you are thinking... and love reading your blog, although, I'm now wondering if YOU might be the latest author of a comment on my blog when I spoke of working for now.

That "anonymous" somebody ranted in a very long comment about how ridiculous it is that we use the word "leader" in our Christian culture so much. That person is obviously also KJV-only. That might have been the only dead-giveaway that it wasn't you friend. =)

So needless to say, I chuckled when I read this.


i'm just a guy with a hat...

I just got off the phone with someone we both know and I said the same thing. They responded that you had blog'ed about it today. Amazing!

The word "leadership" has bugged me for the last 3.5 years since I moved from Broadcast to Ministy. Of course there are alot of others that bug to, but this one really makes me cringe when I hear it. You put my feelings about the phrase into words.

well this is getting more and more confirming

Titles are lame. I never believe someone who says they are a leader until I see them actually lead. Walking the talk is far more significant than a few words on a bio or biz card. I'd also argue that leadership isn't just vertical. I think we can lead horizontally as well. We all have the ability to lead, influence, etc each other if we choose to do what you ended you ppst with.

I think it depends on the context and whether you are calling yourself the leader or that is a trait that others are ascribing to you. It's like an individual self labeling themselves a "guru". It just doesn't always work. Let others that follow consider you the leader and you act on your calling. Just my 2 cents.

Best thing I've read in a while...

Alright...finally someone humming a tune that is familiar. Thank you!

Was thinking about this as I was driving. And then I saw a campaign sign for a city council person. Two words besides name and websitr were Integrity and Leadership. I would say avoiding words average politicians use for themselves is a good thing.


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