Frustration! Aggravation! Help! These are the common characteristics of working for a bad leader. I have done it and have probably been the bad leader at times. Struggling with these emotions is difficult and often times in the ministry, we justify a bad attitude. This happens when we are at a church and people come and stroke our ego and talk about how much better we would be as a leader. How do you handle these situations? Loyalty is not easy, but it is a test we will all face and must pass to grow. There are some keys to being loyal to a leader and passing the loyalty test.
- Praying for people really helps us develop a heart of compassion for them. Too often when we are frustrated we only pray for people to do what we want them to do. Praying for our leader should be more. We need to pray for their whole life, their family, for God to bless them. As we do this we will see our attitude toward them change.
- Praying for our leader is our responsibility and duty. If we are not praying for them, we have absolutely no right to criticize them. Praying gives us spiritual insight into our leader and opens us up for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We should make praying for our leader our highest priority.
- Serving is not serving if it is always easy. When did Jesus talk about serving and say, “Serve when you feel like it”, or “Serve when they deserve it?” Jesus painted serving the way it really is, hard. The questions we must ask is, “How are we serving our leader?”
- Serving a leader is finding those things that help and bless them and doing them without being asked. Too often, I was not good at this. I would get so focused on my ministry or what I was doing and I would not think about my leader. Focusing on self and not serving leaves us open to a bad attitude and will infect every aspect of our relationship with our leader. Look for ways to serve and do them with no expectations except to bless them.
- Communication should be a two way street, but often times it isn’t and we don’t get a lot of communication from our leader. However, our communication should be strong even if our leaders communication is not strong. We should always be creatively communicating with them. Schedule meetings and send them quick updates to let them know how things are going. Even if they never acknowledge the communication, keep communicating.
- Communicating like this does not mean you bug them or text them happy feel good messages everyday. This means that you stay up to date in letting them know what is happening with you and your responsibilities. Do not get into whining or complaining. Keep your communication brief but informative. The best way to accomplish this communication is to have a routine to your communication. Find what works best for your leader, whether email, txt, FB, etc… and do it regularly.
If we really believe that God is in control, then we trust that we are where we are for a reason. Seek to bless the leader above you, whether they are a gifted leader or not. God will see your heart and will one day bring you loyal followers who will help you when you are the leader. How are you doing with the loyalty test? What areas do you need to improve?