Prompted to write this after the leadership session on Sunday morning when I asked a simple question of those that were there…

What are the challenges that leaders face?

A seemingly innocuous question but one that opened up a myriad of thoughts. Some people got quite emotive about them too. The ensuing discussion was great. Would love to know what you think they are?

Here’s what I’ve learnt along the way about leadership and followers…

If you don’t have any you are NOT a leader (actually I think that goes to Maxwell)
When you have some keeping them is HARD WORK.
Are ‘followers’ the toughest challenge a leader faces?
You cannot keep all of them happy all of the time. That’s what you need a team for.
If you genuinely care for them and believe the best of them…they will keep following you.
Patience is not just a virtue, it’s a must!
Don’t teach based on your frustrations with those who are following you. Teach based on what you believe God is saying to you all at the current time.
Without followers you are limited to what you can achieve. Challenge them, ask more of them than they can give, help them understand the cause, paint a picture of the future with them in it.
Thank God for them…all the time.
Listen to them but don’t be led by them. Majority rule is not always best. If God has said so then God’s way is best!

Explain the why more than the what.

Would love you input on this topic – any wisdom out there?
What do you reckon? What are some of the leadership challenges?
If you have people behind you…what are the challenges followers bring and what have you learnt along the way?

[By the way…this is the 300th post. How do you think I’m doing?]

4 thoughts on “Leadership Challenges: Followers

  1. I personally believe that the concept of leadership within the church has done more damage than good.

    The role of the leader within a ministry or a church is not to ensure He/She is followed, but to inspire others to follow Jesus, to equip them with everything they need to grow in Christ-likeness, and as they mature in character, they then walk alongside others and build them up that way.

    Keeping your followers happy should never be on the agenda. but bringing praise and glory to God in everything we do, everything we think and say. Ministry should never be entered into to win a popularity contest. As Christians we are called to humble ourselves and to serve. The Leadership you talk about points all glory and credit to man himself, and not to the God who blesses people by trusting them to do His will in those roles of authority in the first place.

    When we become so focused on following a wordly leader to the point that we follow him/her more than we do the Word, we are in for a big disappointment and for potential deception. Not only that, sometimes the leader becomes the idol that replaces our solitude in the presence of God. We’d rather listen to the guidance and counsel of a church leader than to the ultimate Counsellor. This must really grieve the Holy Spirit.

    Like I said, this is my opinion which is based on my own experiences.

    Thank you for allowing me to comment on your post.

    God bless you,

    ransom33 @

  2. When I asked the question what challenges leaders face – the groups answer was ‘followers’ ‘the people’ and how to ‘handle them’.

    I can safely say I’m not all that. I count it a privilege to be the Pastor at Xcel Church Darlington. I am however aware that as much as my job is to introduce people to Jesus, if they do not buy-in to me as a leader and trust me they may not stay around long enough to find Jesus.

    I am the leader. I am responsible for the people that God has brought to the Church. I am to be a shepherd. To lead them, guide them, teach them and so much more.It is not about me.

    I would agree that if the Church becomes all about the leader then the focus is wrong and there is probably trouble ahead.

    Thanks for the comment though – it is a great discussion.

  3. What are the challenges Leaders face?

    I believe Leaders are

    Challenged to hear from higher authority
    Challenged to write the Vision
    Challenged to make it plain
    Challenged to share his vision
    Challenged to get people to run with it
    Challenged to set the pace
    Challenged to set goals
    Challenged to plan / organise
    Challenged to position people
    Challenged to bring structure
    Challenged to influence up
    Challenged to influence down
    Challenged to have faith (seeing what no others see)
    Challenged to push forward / breaking barriers
    Challenged to take risks
    Challenged to make changes
    Challenged to stay focused
    Challenged to inspire others
    Challenged to stay motivated
    Challenged to motivate others
    Challenged to stand (strong)doing all stand
    Challenged to produce after your own kind

    (Leaders are challenged to ultimately be an all rounder.)

    here’s 2 sayings i like
    1) “Never expect others to do, what you would do yourself”
    2) “monkey see monkey do”

    Every seed produces after its own kind. Sow into people in order to grow the vision.

    In order to lead you must 1st follow!!!

    Jesus was the entire list above.

    Following a leader:
    if you’re going to buy in and follow a leader be mindful and most importantly follow the Jesus in the leader. Know Gods word. Jesus said “you will know them by their fruit”

    Casey Treat said:
    Successful leaders do more than one thing right. There is no one thing that will make you a success or make you a great leader in your home, your business, or your ministry.

    Seven basic qualities:
    • Vision
    • Strategy
    • Relationships
    • Faith
    • Follow-through
    • Renewal

    If any one of them is not in operation, then there will be problems and struggles.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s