Transforming Church Team Blog
resourcing leaders…reenvisioning the future

Collaboration: Is it worth the effort? Part 1 of 3



John Holm

John Holm

I was recently speaking with a pastor with over three decades of experience as a leader in the church.  He is very talented with much wisdom and insight in mission and ministry.  He has strategic vision.  “In the day” he would simply be a benevolent dictator.  He would say, “We are going in this direction and we are doing this to get there.”  In the last few years the culture has changed enough such that many leaders and members in his congregation are not accepting his benevolence as a dictator.  This pastor is frustrated because he is fairly confident that his strategic vision is on target (and I would say it is pretty good as well) but he is being told that he needs to have a process for collaboration in decision making.

 He doesn’t want to give up the perceived benefits of the benevolent dictator model of leadership:

1.    Utilization of the wisdom of experience.

2.    Efficiency in decision making processes.

3.    Centralized control/authority.


I am sure that many church leaders will resonate with this pastor.  The questions we need to ask are:

1.     Are the above benefits real?

2.    What are the systemic negatives of the benevolent dictator leadership model?

 I would love to hear your comments.


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