>Leadership & Loneliness & Pastoring & Me

>LonelinessImage by Aditya Grandhi via Flickr“Part of leadership is having to face your fears and loneliness.”  

This is a quote from Jenni Catron, Executive Director of multi-site CrossPoint Church at The Nines conference.

While I think this must resonate with anyone who is “a boss” and they see their employees having fun or making plans as they sit in their office with the barrier of the “boss” label, I think it has great ramifications for pastoral leadership.  I  do not lift myself up as a great leader.  I often feel like I’m merely muddling through in my roles; oftentimes much more content to “coast” or “tread water” than actually lead anything or anyone to anyplace at anytime.  Let’s get that straight.  But, at times, I’m acutely aware that my designation of “pastor” limits my ability to be a friend.  I heard this when starting out in ministry and it’s true 17 years later. 

There is nothing in my life right now that has made me feel this way any more than any other time.  I have not looked out the window at a loud party and wished I was invited and I have not heard voices hush from their laughter as I walked in the room.  Both of these have happened at other times, but not recently.

But the quote resonated with me.

I love the pastoral role.  I really do.

Just, sometimes, it’s kind of lonely.

And I’ve been OK with that.

So…if you’re reading this and you have a pastor or priest, why not drop him or her a note, letting them know that they are appreciated.  Make sure they have time to immerse themselves in their family…whatever that may be for them.  Invite them out to coffee for non-work purposes.  Invite them to a movie.  Strike up a conversation about sports or books or TV or a hobby.  Encourage them to find the company of other pastors where they don’t have to be defined by their clerical hat that they wear.  And, if you really want to help…help lead.

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