Chances are probably good that you’ve disagreed with your leader at one time or another – whether it’s your family leader, your workplace leader, your church or spiritual leader, your state or country leader. Right?
No matter how much you love, admire, or want to follow someone (or you don’t!) you are never going to agree 100% with another human being. Disagreements are inevitable.
So what should we do when we disagree with our leader, especially our spiritual leader?
Here are some things to remember:
1) No leader is perfect. (None of us are!) They are going to make mistakes. I like what one minister says: leaders are “deficient by design.” They are not meant to take the place of God in our life. They’re going to need help, and need our prayers. God tells us to pray for all those in position of authority so we can live peaceful lives (1 Timothy 2:2). It’s not just a suggestion. When we disagree with our leader, the first thing we should do pray for them – and don’t stop!
2) Who’s the boss? We are all accountable to someone. As helpers and followers, you and I are stewards of someone else’s vision. God has a divine order to things, and when He wants something done, He raises up a leader. He also raises up people to help the leader. Be sure you know which one is which, and then act accordingly. We are God’s Army, there’s a rank and file, and a way to do things (Ephesians 4, 1 Cor. 12:18, Hebrews 13:17 amp). Many times you would not do things the same way your leader would, but different methods can accomplish the same goals, and someone has to lead.
3) There’s a big picture…..and if you’re not the leader, you don’t always see it. There’s a lot you don’t know – and may never know. Depending on your role (how closely you work with leader), you are there to support them in accomplishing the organization’s purpose, either up close or at a distance. Take seriously the power and responsibility of “followership.” Your ideas might be good ideas, but they might not be God ideas in the current scheme of things. You’ll be happiest when you fit in with and contribute to the vision that’s in place. We are all most effective for the kingdom when we pray what Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42 – “not my will, Lord, but yours be done.”
4) Understand your position. If you’re part of the decision-making process, or your opinion is sought, give it. (Also remember that it’s the leader’s communication style that determines the dialogue, not yours. And remember if you’re giving your opinion, timing is everything). Understand that having the leader’s ear comes from relationship, and you’re going to have to prove yourself first. Are you someone the pastor wants to hear from? If not, then keep quiet – be faithful, put your hand to the plow, be a help, and pray. Develop trustworthiness. That takes time.
5) Trust God. Hopefully you’re serving the Lord, not serving a leader (Colossians 3:17). It’s not our place to correct our leader; God put them in position, so if we have issues, we can go to God about it, and trust HIM. If there are serious problems, perhaps we can address an accountable party – but don’t spread your opinion around or look for people to agree with you. Don’t sow discord (Prov. 13:3, 6:12-19). Instead, pray and trust God. Spend the time, expect the answer. Ask yourself, “Is this just me? Or is it a real problem?” Give it time before talking with anyone else about it.
When you disagree with your leader, remember there is always One higher than they – it’s God your Father. He knows how to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). You can trust Him. Bring all your cares to Him, serve Him with all your heart, stay in the Word, keep your joy, and do everything in love (1 Cor 16:14).
I’M COMING TO LIFE CHURCH IN BOISE!
* Wednesday Eve. Service – November 3
*”Life is Sweet” Women’s Conference – November 5, 6