In a recent podcast, Shawn Lovejoy talked a lot about how church leadership can help create vision and use it to move the church forward. In creating vision and leading people through it, there comes a lot of responsibility though. Shawn offers some advice:
Constantly remind people why you do what you do. Shawn says that vision has a tendency to leak. You can rally the troops in a staff meeting or in a board room and have tears in people’s eyes, but six weeks later there are angry emails from those same people. Everyone has their own ideas, energies and agendas, and it’s a leader’s job to constantly remind people why we do what we do. Most leaders think they communicate it too much, but most followers don’t. Most people don’t wake up every day thinking about your vision like you do as the leader. Try to close the gap between your passion level and the passion level of others.
Stay the course. Vision hijackers, as Shawn calls them, can kill or erode vision. They come in all shapes and sizes and unknowingly or unconsciously try to take over the situation. These are people who have usually joined in with the vision along the way. Leaders have to hang on to make sure you get to your original destination because it’s your responsibility to see the vision through to the end.
Snatch the wheel. With a hijackers, there’s not a clear intent to take over, so staying the course and sticking to your vision usually works. But there’s also someone Shawn calls a vision maverick who does have their own agenda or selfish ambition. They want to take your church and make it something else. This is where a leader must have courage to snatch the wheel back if necessary to protect the vision.
Let people go. The Kingdom’s big enough for both of you. Maybe your vision hijacker or maverick needs to go in another direction while you stay on your course. Shawn says many leaders have a tendency to hang on too tight to people who are struggling. But God may be birthing a vision within them that’s unique and different. In order to realize this, it’s important sometimes to let people go.
To hear more from Shawn about the responsibilities of church leadership and much more, check out the full podcast here!