Pastoral Leadership

By: Rev. Donna F. Roberson - Presiding Elder (Ret)


Every church deserves to be well fed and well led to the glory of God.  Well-fed churches are nourished  in doctrine through the preaching of the Word and discipleship.  Well led churches are organized with clarity of vision and plan for accomplishing it.

As the lead pastor of a church you have a seat at the table on leadership discussions and decisions.  A pastor has built in authority because of your position.  but your position does not determine your influence, your actions do.

Getting better doesn't happen by time and chance but by intentionality and investment.  The passage of time does not guarantee development as a leader.  Growth happens as it is pursued and sought.


Purposeful action breeds results.  Intentional growth as a leader includes reading books, attending events, networking with others to learn from them, and taking time to examine the roots of your successes and failures.  Many leaders have grown in years because they assume tenure makes them better leaders.


A pastor's leadership is only as valid as his/her character.  Pastors must be men and women who pursue holiness and obedience over their positions and platforms.  Pastors often imagine that leadership is displayed by vision talks or meetings where the church's future is being decided.


Those are leadership actions, but most of a pastor's leadership will play out in the everyday business of interacting with people, choices about events, messages, handling conflict, and on and on.  Leading well is a day to day affair in the small things.


Remember a pastor is sent but it doesn't make you a pastor.  If one has to say over and over to the congregation "I am the pastor" more than likely you are not the pastor.  A pastor who leads well doesn't have to say it, you see it by he way the people are following him/her.  You are not the shepherd if you have no sheep.


Pastoral leadership is the ability to know that you are called to serve, but you don't have all answers.  Pastoral leadership involves leading God's people while you follow Christ.  That is the measure of good pastoral leadership.


Rev. Donna F. Roberson - Presiding Elder (Ret)

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