Leading vs Managing

There is a difference between leading a ministry and managing a ministry.

Healthy ministries are pipelines of leadership development.  

A ministry is only as healthy as the people that are being developed. 
A healthy ministry will actively discover those who show leadership potential, develop resources to equip and inspire leaders, and carefully deploy them in roles that enflame their hearts, challenge them to excel and propel the ministry to new heights. 

To develop leaders we are concerned with heart and character. This will take longer and will demand more time and energy. Managers tend to train people to perform particular task.  Yes we need to show people how to do somethings however developing heart and character will play a signifant part in creating a healthy ministry. I have seen some very gifted talented people with some broken heart and character issues.  They know how to "do" ministry. Putting them in leadership will only hurt them and the team.

Are we managing or leading
As leaders we need to courageously look at the ministry and ask are we managing the ministry or are we leading the ministry.  There is  a distinction between the two and it can be best found out by looking at the leadership we are developing. 

Here are some differences between a leader and a manager

Leaders emphasize what and why.
Managers emphasize how and when

Leaders are inspiring and motivating.
Managers are controlling and manipulative

Leaders are excited about change. 
Managers threatened by change

Leaders are people  and idea centered.
Managers are system and plan centered

Leaders get the most out of others.
Managers get the most out of themselves.

A healthy ministry will look to people with a God centered focus, they will ask what are the evidences of grace in this person, and how can I partner with God to continiue to develop them. A leader will look for areas they can deploy them that will give them plenty of room to thrive.  Healthy ministries will celebrate people and their accomplishments.

Ask yourself

How well is the ministry doing in identifying leaders and developing them?

Q4U: How were you developed as a leader?


  1. Excellent post! Thanks for the reminder -- on these things we can never be reminded enough.

    I was developed as a leader through the ministry of more than just one person. A variety of leaders spoke into my life and shaped me. My grandmother was the primary influence in my life and although she's in heaven now, continues to be through all that she instilled in me and left behind. I'm so grateful for the "team" who helped to shape me. Another AG minister who has been in the trenches, serving as an ordained pastor, pastor's wife, and much more for 50 plus years has been and still is another very powerful shaping force in my life. She is alive and we connect every week. I'm very grateful.

  2. Yes I agree as a leader I am always in need of reminding and prayer (yay! for prayer partners!) What a great gift from God to have more than one influence, does that make you muti-flavored :) yep I think it does.


Leave a comment