tyler ramsbey blog

Leadership Lessons from a Pastor

LeadershiCLUB

Pastoral leadership is one of the most difficult yet rewarding leadership positions available. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to encourage people in their faith and exhort them to live according to Scripture. Yet, part of pastoral leadership is leading volunteers. Some say that leading volunteers is comparable to herding cats (If you are part of my staff, I don’t think this is true!) This makes it more difficult than leading a business because there is no financial incentive to encourage productivity.

Below are three leadership lessons YOU should apply today; ESPECIALLY if you lead in the business sector:

1. Lead with vision.
Most of the people I lead in The Rescue Church are volunteers. This requires visionary leadership which is sadly lacking in many organizations. In the rat race of life, it is tempting to dangle financial rewards in front of employees in order to get results. This obviously does not work with volunteers – You MUST exercise leadership that goes far beyond monetary reward.

Successful leadership implements vision in every meeting; failing leadership begrudgingly offers financial security to gain loyalty.

At EVERY opportunity you should bring your people back to the vision of your company. Do NOT assume that people automatically connect their positions to the larger goal of your organization. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to share your organization’s vision too frequently.

2. Lead with integrity and transparency.
Paul directs pastors to lead lives that are “above reproach”. The majority of leadership qualifications in Scripture have to do with inner characteristics instead of outer performance. Although Paul is speaking specifically to leaders in the church, it would be helpful to apply these characteristics to ALL forms of leadership.

According to 1 Timothy 3:2-7, leaders should have the following characteristics:

  • Faithfulness to family
  • Self-controlled
  • Respectable
  • Hospitable to strangers
  • Gentle
  • Agreeable
  • Not greedy

Hundreds of studies have shown that ethical businesses are more profitable over time than those that focus solely on generating profit. Therefore, lead the way by exercising integrity in all of your activities, even those that do not directly affect your company. You should invite men and women to hold you accountable to the standards you have set. As a leader, you should offer your way of life as a model for those who follow you.

3. Lead your staff relationally.
Pastors intentionally build culture within the people they lead. The relationships they build with their staff are organic and influential. Pastors truly desire to know and care for those that are under their leadership.

As a business leader, you should exercise shepherd leadership. Lead in such a way that your primary focus is on cultivating character rather than generating profit; if your staff grows in their character it is inevitable they will become more productive employees.

This can be as simple as taking a genuine interest in those you lead. If your organization allows it, ask if you can pray for the employee. Even non-Christians find this comforting and encouraging. Another way you can do this is by going out of your way to encourage your employees with occasional thank-you cards, free lunches, flexible schedules, etc.


YOU should lead with vision, integrity, and relationships. What other leadership lessons can be gained from leading volunteers? Let me know by leaving a comment! 

Radical Honesty

radicalhonesty

If you have not read the first four posts in this series, be sure to read them below:
Ladder of Humility (Part One)
Ladder of Humility (Part Two)
Ladder of Humility (Part Three)
Ladder of Humility (Part Four)


Imagine this scenario: You are sitting in the waiting room of a hospital, looking over a magazine. As you look up, you see a man with a bloody stump where his arm use to be. The medical team rushes out to help him but he acts as if nothing is wrong. The blood is dripping onto the carpet but he hides all signs of pain or worry. He does not want to make others uncomfortable and refuses to seek help because of pride.

Friends, this is a picture of our churches every Sunday morning.

We shroud ourselves in secrecy – even to our own families.

The church is to be a place of radical honesty. A place where people freely confess their sins, weaknesses, and brokenness to one another without fear of judgment. The local church is to be a sanctuary and hospital for sinners.

ladderofhumility

The fifth step on the Ladder of Humility is, “Radical honesty to others about your weaknesses/faults.” The church is to be counter-cultural. Unfortunately in this area we have been INFECTED by the culture instead of AFFECTING the culture. There needs to be a radical change in our hearts and minds; we must kill our pride and be honest about our shortcomings, sins, and weaknesses with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Paul describes this in Ephesians 4:15:
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

I see two points that Paul makes in this passage –

  1. Radical honesty must begin and end with love. Honesty should characterize our churches and lives because we love one another. Part of this love is accepting others despite their faults and shortcomings. We are to accept one another, even when we screw up, because God has accepted us in Christ Jesus when we DEFINITELY did not deserve it.
  2. Radical honesty will result in spiritual maturity. Many would agree the church in the west is far too shallow. We focus on numbers to the detriment of true spiritual growth. We are content as long the seats are full and the offering is strong each week. Radical honesty challenges our egotistical comfort because it molds us to look more like Jesus.

Remove your mask. I know it will be painful because pride dies hard. Pursue radical honesty in regards to your faults and weaknesses. Extend acceptance to others who are broken.

The Christian life is a journey and the church is to be a hospital where people come to find hope and healing.

You and I do NOT have it all together so let’s quit deceiving ourselves and come to the Great Shepherd with all of our brokenness and sin.


Why do YOU think it is so hard for people to be truly honest with one another? Leave a comment and let me know!