Posted by: everynation | September 7, 2011

Leadership Challenges

by Ross Middleton

ONE OF MY MOST FRUSTRATING challenges as a leader is being misunderstood. Now I know that is part of life and leadership but it doesn’t change the fact that it still grinds on me big time.

The biggest reason I hate being misunderstood is because for me I feel like it is attacking one of the most important things in my life, my character & integrity, in other words, my motives. It is very important to me to always make sure that I am doing things out of a pure heart and pure motives. I’m by no means perfect but I feel like I generally do a good job aiming to please the only one that matters, Christ.

As a leader you will always be misunderstood at some level because people on the outside never really understand the fullness of every situation and decision you have to make as a leader.

I’ve definitely learned in moderating and participating in several incredibly heated arguments over the years that there are two sides to every story. There is always another perspective to think about. Bad leaders listen to one side, make assumptions and then execute judgements. Good leaders listen to both sides, get all the pertinent information available and then work out the best solution for both parties involved.

Unfortunately, I feel many times basic scriptural principles are ignored when conflict arises. In scripture it is very clear that when we have an issue with our brother we should go talk to them. We should not go talk to someone else about them. (Matthew 18) 

Reality is many of us as Christians intellectually understand this simple truth, the problem is, we just do not practice it. We are educated beyond our level of obedience. I have never once in my life seen a situation get resolved by talking to someone else first and gossiping rather than the person you are offended with.

Unfortunately, I have seen countless “mature” Christians rip churches and relationships apart because of their inability to deal with issues in a biblical way. I am not perfect at this, but I want to get it right so bad and more than anything, I want this to be as deep as possible in the DNA of SouthCoast Church. I will viscously protect the unity of our church and be absolutely militant about people handling conflict in a biblical way.

If there is anything you need to get off your chest, than do it, have a hard conversation now, get it out there and deal with your issues, I promise you’ll feel better when its over. 

Ross Middleton is the lead pastor of the upcoming church plant in Miami, Florida, South Coast Church. He is married to Amy. They have two energetic boys and their third child (It’s a boy!) is due this month (September 2011).

Read original post here.

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