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youth worker, youth ministry, leader, stuck

When a Leader Shouldn’t Be Leading

By Doug Franklin July 20, 2010

I recently spoke to a youth pastor who was feeling a bit strangled by the leadership in his church. During our conversation he shared with me his hopes and dreams for his youth group and new ideas he had for implementing student leadership in his group. He even shared with me his ideas and goals for improving his own leadership and training for his adult staff. But the truth was, he couldn’t really achieve any of these things because his administrative pastor had an iron clad grip on all things financial. The youth pastor had no church credit card, nor a specific budget of money he could spend. In fact, the youth pastor found that any time he wanted to do anything within his ministry that required finances, he had to make an individual proposal stating why he wanted to spend the money. And many times he was told no. Every individual purchase had to be justified. This coming from a fairly good sized church and the youth pastor had been there for a decade with tons of success.

Ever been in a situation like this? Where a leader is such a control freak that nothing can be done without his approval? It’s so tough and often creates dissension within the church. The truth is, maybe this leader shouldn’t be leading. Maybe they just aren’t right for the job they’re in and need to step down.

That’s probably not going to happen for this youth pastor though. Most likely the administrative pastor won’t step down or be let go, and the youth pastor will just have to continue coping, always feeling strangled in his ministry. The sad thing is, when this is the case, most people don’t stay. I hope that doesn’t happen here, at least for the students’ sake.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More