One of the main struggles I find in relationships, especially one’s that I am in, is striking up a healthy balance of accountability. I find this especially tough in being a leader of a church community. I think it to be my role to help hold the community accountable to living appropriately in our world as the church. I do this by preaching, encouraging, pastoring, thinking, vision-casting etc. If I see us going in one direction, then I want to move us away from that and move us closer to Christ. This is a tough role to be in, because a large part of my role is calling people on their shit, calling our community on their shit, and being honest when maybe honesty doesn’t make a lot of friends. It means that I am a scapegoat for a lot of messy situations. It means that I take the heat for things that we do or not do as a community. It also means that I am constantly dreaming of a new and exciting directions that we will take. It means that I am usually a few steps of the community as a whole in understanding theology, the church and our society. Being a leader is tough because you are summoned with the duty to be straight-forward and heartbreakingly honest at times to push a community forward where it isn’t necessarily comfortable or desired to go.
On the flip side of this, is the fact that a good leader I am learning listens to his people. A good leader does not go to far ahead of his people that they think he is the enemy. A good leader can take correction. A good leader is patient. A good leader listens, and acts in the best interests of everyone. A good leader is not judgmental. A good leader is a good discerner. A good leader can see time in perspective and doesn’t rush anything. In a lot of ways a good community holds their leaders accountable. They discipline. They pull in the reigns when necessary. They help bring the leader down to earth so that they can better understand his people and they can better understand them.
The balance between those two worlds I find at most times to be beyond frustrating. Yet I am continually convinced that it is the leader that needs to give and submit, not the other way around.
God give me patience and strength to submit.
1 thought on “The Balance Between Being Held Accountable and Holding Accountable”
I really dig the trajectory reflected in this post and your prior post on “When Leaders Fail…”. Exciting stuff. At the end of the day, I think they point towards something I’ve mentioned in our prior conversations on this topic: the rejection of leadership itself, along with its rhetoric and practices.