7 Warnings for Aspiring Leaders


Almost on a weekly basis I hear from a young pastor who wants to grow as a leader. He feels the pressure placed upon him and knows that others are looking to him to steer the church on a healthy course. Most of these leaders are humble, knowing that ultimately Christ is the head of the church. What they also know is that there are expectations of their position, decisions that have to be made which are not clearly defined in Scripture, and that seminary didn’t train them to make.

Sometimes it seems I’ve given the same advice many times; either reminding myself or to another pastor. The more times I share the same concept, the more it becomes a short, paradigm shaping idea that summarizes the basic issue the leader is facing. What isn’t always clear is that I’ve learned these concepts mostly by living these concepts. I’ve made more mistakes in leadership than I’ve had success. That’s what this post is about. These are some warnings I’ve observed first hand in leadership positions I’ve held. I’m trying not to continue to live them and I’d love to help other leaders avoid them.

Here are 7 warnings for aspiring leaders:

What you “settle for” becomes the culture.

Mediocrity isn’t created. It’s accepted.

Your actions determine their reactions.

Don’t assume they agree because they haven’t said anything.

You’ll never get there just “thinking about it”.

If you’re the leader, they are likely waiting on you to lead or release the right to lead.

What the team values becomes apparent by your actions, not your words, no matter how well spoken they might be.

What warnings would you share to aspiring leaders?

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21 thoughts on “7 Warnings for Aspiring Leaders

  1. Hi! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?

    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and
    I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  2. I am grateful to our AWE-GOD that our mistakes that we stepped into by our impulsive human conditions can and will be Kingdom translated into GOD’s Miraculous Messages.
    My mistake is paying forward temporary life by reacting to the human condition of the issue at hand instead of responding with Kingdom Perspective. The long or short of it boils down to long or short? Will I lead by reaction or response? Time with God makes reaction a bit longer, but creates a response that pays forward an eternal difference. Do I want to pay forward a temporary difference that will collapse under the weight of the human condition or do I want to pay forward an eternal difference that will stand the tests of time? Most of the time in my early leadership I reacted and oh OUCH it hurt as it created crooked paths and OH, I am so thankful for God, who continued to “grow me through” and teach me how wonderful it is to walk on straight paths. Now, I take the time needed to respond as I take my reaction to God 1st and He straightens it out by His Kingdom Perspective. Our God is sooooooo good at making crooked places straight! AWE-GOD!

    Twitter: kmac4him

  3. Wonderful thoughts! Love it. Here's what I might add.
    The inability to deal with conflict immediately and in good character WILL eventually implode your team / Church / organization.

  4. A couple of warnings:

    They're you're team and you're responsible for them (Though every warning you gave could come back to this truth)

    You will fail. It's how you recover from that determines the quality of your leadership

  5. Good word! Especially "what you settle for becomes the culture". In the past I allowed certain things to go unaddressed to avoid having to confront someone, or address an issue. It became a bigger problem, and showed others on your team what you really thought was important.