Thursday, January 31, 2013

Why Some People Stay & Some People Go

In 2011, CBN celebrated its 50th anniversary and many leaders from around the country came to celebrate.  Many “big wigs” (as my mom would say) came out for the event, and the 700 Club daily show staff produced the all-day extravaganza. As guest producer of the 700 Club, I was in charge of briefing each one and getting them where they needed to be.  I met the governor of Virginia, congressmen, several international ministry leaders, and several local mayors.  It was a bit nerve wracking (understatement!), but thankfully, one of the leaders in the room was a dear friend (I won’t name names).  I think we were both happy to see a familiar face in the crowd!

At some point, this leader asked me how our new church was going.  I told him that it was a bit more difficult being lead pastors than we’d imagined.  The hardest part? he asked.  I said dealing with people . . . friends leaving . . . hoping you’re getting it right, etc.

He then gave me a piece of advice that helped me, and I scribbled it down.  It’s on a little sticky note that I keep in my desk, and sometimes it helps explain why some people stay and some people go. 

He said every leader experiences three types of followers.  First, the “comrades.” These are people who are with you because they hate something or someone else, and you’re success is their best chance to (and I’m paraphrasing) stick it to them, get back at them, ensure their demise, etc.  When that is accomplished, they will bail.

Then, you have the “constituents.  These are people who believe in your cause, or at least one of your causes.  But, when the cause is gone or their job in the cause is done, so are they.  No hard feelings and no regrets . . . just let them go and bless them on their way out.

Finally, you have your “confidants.”  These people are there for you and will have your back.  Even if you move in a different direction or make a mistake, they are loyal.  I would add that your confidants trust that God has called you to pastoring, they have a teachable spirit, and they pray for you.  They will come alongside you and hold your hands up when you are weary.

Of course not every person/situation fits into these 3 categories . . . each person who leaves & each person’s reasons are unique.  All I know is, this helped me.

To this day, that leader has no idea how much this encouraged me in such a hard season when I really was tempted to quit.  I thank God for all the people who have “stuck it out” with us, imperfect as we are.   I will be forever grateful for our confidants, our friends.

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. Prov. 17:17

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