One of the greatest struggles of leadership happens when you have to choose between a friend and the vision of your church/organization. When your friend disagrees with the vision what do you do? Do you acquiesce? Do you water down the vision? Do you change direction to “stay friends”? Let’s complicate it a bit shall we? When your friend is an employee but has reached the point where he/she is either no longer able or willing to press on towards the accomplishment of the vision, what do you do?
As leaders we are entrusted with a vision from God. We are called to be good stewards (i.e. managers) of this vision.
A couple of months ago I heard Joe Champion say something that has given me clarity on this issue. He said, “Stewardship must take precedence over friendship.”
The truth is that if we choose friendship over stewardship of the vision we will flatline our organizational effectiveness, and in the case of the church that means that people’s destinies will be altered because we made a wrong choice, a choice driven by our own convenience.
The determination to live out this principle with grace and rigor is what separates leaders who lead “fruit bearing” churches/organizations and leaders who dream and talk about fruit bearing churches/organizations.