Politics and Leadership

You have an obligation to lead the congregation. It is neglect of duty to disregard the temporal affairs of the congregation. Here, too, you are to provide spiritual counsel and guidance. You have a legitimate pastoral concern over the acoustics of the Sanctuary and that the alms are used in accord with how they were given.

But just as much you also have a concern to protect God’s people. The business meetings of the congregation can be dangerous and wounds inflicted there can have long-standing effects. Thus you need to consider, in advance, what might be difficult or emotionally charged, and how you might help to defuse it. Sometimes you need to go talk to the key individuals in advance and work something out. Sometimes you need to back down or table issues to keep someone from saying something he will regret. Always you need to think about what might happen and prepare. Some things are unavoidable. But your obligation as shepherd is sometimes to lead the sheep through minefields. It might feel a little like “politics” or “manipulation,” but it is necessary leadership.