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At last week’s Leading Edge event in Kansas City, the project’s benefactor said something interesting to our table:

If you see a CEO on TV advertising his company’s product, don’t buy the stock. It’s obvious he doesn’t get it.

My mind immediately went to Lee Iaccoca & Chrysler in th 1980s:

and then to Dave Thomas of Wendy’s in more recent years:

What did our benefactor — a man who has run companies in the information technology industry for over 30 years — mean by his comment?

This: when leaders identify themselves too closely with the organizations they lead, trouble ensues. The focus lands on personality traits rather than organizational strengths.

The application to pastors and churches is obvious. The best pastors remember to keep the church’s mission above their own personalities — actually, effective pastors specialize in working themselves out of a job.

The goal is for the people of the church to “own” the ministry to such an extent that if something unexpected happens to the pastoral leader, the congregation can continue to thrive.

This post is not prelude to any kind of announcement. However, it is part of a “reset” I want to engage in as a leader so that the people here will feel more empowered to steward the ministry.

And so that my face won’t appear in any of our advertising.