Listening to Question Time recently, I heard a member of the audience say that people expect their politicians to listen AND to lead. This led me to think that these two things are at the heart of church leadership. We are to be listening and leading.
Both of these things are vitally important. Regrettably, we are generally creatures of extremes. Some of us listen too much and lead too little and some of us listen too little and lead too much. Both of these lop-sided approaches have bad outcomes. The listening non-leader tends to know everything about where the people are at. but does not attempt to lead them forward. The leading non-listener, either goes off on his own and does no good for the sheep, or brings the sheep kicking and screaming to where they do not want to go.
One of the consequences of having a listening leader is that the people know that he is interested in them. In such a case they are responsive to his leading because they know he cares. This is particularly crucial when we have to lead people in a hard path. If they do not know that we care, they will not come.
So let us be listening leaders who lead and that will be good.