You Can’t be Afraid of the People

Some “leaders” in change-averse churches resist change and transparency about wanting to make those changes for a simple reason: they are afraid of the people. These “leaders” would never admit it, but they are afraid that people will get upset with them, murmur, or even leave. The leader’s inability to tolerate pain in self and others cultivates a fearful and fragile fellowship. This is a shame, for people are the church’s greatest gift from the Lord. However, they can become and/or remain dangerous when they are led to be so. Once a leader becomes afraid of the people they are leading, they can no longer lead effectively.

The best way to overcome this kind of culture in your church is never sow it through timid leadership or tolerance of unhealthy behavior. If you already have this problem, accept responsibility for it and start leading–or prepare for your church to atrophy for lack of movement. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, it’s the right thing to do.

Dr. Tim Spivey is Pastor of New Vintage Church in Escondido, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on numerous websites, including:, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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