Ministry is Easy; Leadership is Hard

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My guest blogger today is Justin Cheely, who is the Discipleship Pastor at theCHURCH of Arizona ( Let’s see what Justin has to share with us today about his own Leadership Adventure:

“Ministry is Easy – Leadership is Hard.

I had a mentor tell me this a while back. Truer words have never been spoken. 

As a young pastor (I’m 32) I’ve quickly realized that doing ministry is easy. Teaching theology and doctrine, preparing sermons, facilitating groups, caring for people in the midst of crisis and suffering – that’s all relatively “easy” for me.

By easy I mean that I love it. It’s why I’m a pastor. It’s why I got into ministry. It’s what keeps me coming back. It’s what sends me into the office with a smile on my face and pep in my step.

For you, it might be teaching in your field, preparing spreadsheets, putting together presentations, or casting vision for your organization. You’re on your career path (hopefully) because you absolutely love whatever it is you do. It’s “easy” because you were created for it and you are passionate about it.

It’s leadership that is hard. I’m learning this now, even as I type this up. 

I oversee Discipleship at our church and I have some amazing, faithful, and encouraging leaders that I get to serve week in and week out. I’ve also got leaders ready to quit, leaders who are upset with me, leaders that don’t quite respect me, and leadership positions I need to fill while having absolutely no bench strength.

Leadership is hard!

It’s also extremely rewarding when it’s done right. Leadership done right will maximize your effectiveness in the very thing you love to do. For me, improving my leadership will maximize my ministry effectiveness.

Instead of teaching one theology class, leading one study group, or caring for one person in crisis, leadership allows me to multiply the reach of each of those ministry areas.

Leadership allows me to have multiple classes being taught by multiple leaders. It allows me to have multiple study groups led by multiple leaders in multiple neighborhoods. It allows me to have multiple leaders caring for multiple families in need.

Now that is effective ministry!

All of this requires me to be a master of leadership. I need to learn how to patiently inspire and empower the leader that is ready to quit. I need to learn how to graciously listen and learn from the leader that is frustrated about how I do things and is letting the whole world know of their disapproval. I need to learn how to recognize potential and then develop new leaders to fulfill that potential.

None of that comes naturally to me, but I’m blessed to be surrounded by men and women who are gifted leaders.

I will continue to choose to be humble and teachable because I recognize my leadership limitations and shortcomings. I will continue to choose to surround myself with good leadership and glean anything I can from those who’ve gone before me. I will learn what I can about leadership, so that I can lead into the things that I enjoy the most; Things that come easy to me.

Ministry might be “easy” but it won’t be very effective without good leadership. I need to master the one (leadership) so that I can excel in the other (ministry). That means I’m committed to this Leadership Adventure – roadblocks, detours, meteor strikes, downed bridges and all – because effective ministry requires good leadership.”

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