5 Things That KILL a Strong Leadership Finish

Will your finish be a blaze of glory or a "blaze of gory"?

2. They fought over things which were just not that important.

These leaders were not arguing over big things like the virgin birth or nature of the Godhead. Instead, they entangled themselves in perceived offenses, worship styles, minor theological nuances and more.

They majored on the minors, and those who were the objects of that constant attention knew another “concern” was just around the corner.

3. Their identities were too connected to their movement.

These “faltering-at-the-finish” leaders could not perceive a time when other leaders would be in place, or that they might do things differently. As a result, they continued to try to control everything until they marginalized themselves.

Ironically, they now have less influence in movements that see them as heroes.

4. They grew angrier as they grew older.

In every case, their tone became louder, angrier and more belligerent. Openly blurting complaints was common.

The people who loved them opined of the many angry voicemails or emails they had received. In all the cases, the next generation of leaders would “take one for the team.”

But, after a while, even the most well-conditioned team will get tired.

5. They could not hand over what they helped create.

Perhaps this was the clearest of all. All of these leaders were used of God to create great things, movements, ministries and change. In the end, they just couldn’t trust the movement’s members — even the ones they had personally trained — to continue what they started.

Yet, there is a better way.

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Ed Stetzer is President of LifeWay Research and LifeWay’s Missiologist in Residence. He has trained pastors and church planters on five continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written dozens of articles and books. Ed is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine and Catalyst Monthly, serves on the advisory council of Sermon Central and Christianity Today's Building Church Leaders, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN.

1 Comment

  1. Well said Ed! This is a transitional season for many of our senior pastors across the land. Much of what happened during the 60s and 70s is now ready for the next iteration of leadership. I pray that we will be wise and kind as Pastor Jack was. Jim M in AZ


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