Strength to Lead Grows through Resistance


Here is a preview of my article this month for Pastors Today, “Strength to Lead Grows through Resistance”:

Have you ever realized how easy leadership is? A vision statement is pretty easy to write if you toy around with the verbiage long enough. Dreaming up big hairy audacious goals is a blast. And reading leadership books? That often borders on entertainment.

But doing the actual leading? That’s hard. Leading is hard because you bump against resistance in every direction you turn. The people you want to lead think your vision statement is cheesy and your goals are just hairy. But those struggles are a sign that tells you that you are in fact leading. Maybe even in the right direction.

Can you think of any famous leader in history who didn’t face some kind of obstacle or resistance? Probably not. It is more likely that you think of someone who had a defining challenge to overcome, and getting past it is what put him or her into the history books.

Since resistance is inevitable, you might as well embrace it. You can become a better leader if you use instances of resistance like a bodybuilder, who lifts heavier and heavier weights to get stronger and bigger. See them as opportunities to grow your strength as a leader, not an excuse to give up.

Where will you brush up against resistance? And how can you use it to grow stronger as a leader?

You can read the rest here.


  1. Good read and worth while, especially for those who value comity, equanimity and a placid work environment.

    If I were to add one thing, I’d point out that resistance affords us a very important opportunity to discern whether or not our ego needs are riding on the issue around which the resistance has formed. In other words we need to ask, “Is this about me and my needs or about the welfare of the church?”

    True leaders are willing to be shot at, they lean into the conflict and they accept the scars because they know that this isn’t about them. They find their sufficiency, their need for worth and security, in Christ.

    We’ve also found that true leaders are often willing to serve as cannon fodder to set the church up so that the next pastor who comes along can succeed.