Linchpin Leadership

Church leaders are definitely the linchpin of the church. From my farming background the linchpin is that special piece of steel that connect the tractor to the plough, or whatever other tool you wish to drag around. It basically makes something useful, by connecting it to power.

Somehow, church leadership has become the linchpin. Connecting the congregation to God’s power. We provide the motivation, the impetus, the force, the forward momentum to what is otherwise fairly inanimate, heavy, bulky, awkward and otherwise useless. That’s the honest reality of the situation.

It’s even more spooky when you look at the dictionary definition of a linchpin:

something that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together

And that too, goes to the heart of modern day church leadership. Holding the various elements of a complicated structure together.

But how did it get to be, that the church nowadays, revolves around the leader? It was never meant to be was it? Today’s church would be anarchy without a good leader. And if not anarchy and chaos, it would be relatively useless. Going nowhere, doing nothing. The leader is the linchpin, and I hated it.

There is no great church in the western world which doesn’t have a charismatic, gifted, experienced, strong leader at the head of it. So where else can we look for examples? We never hear about the african church that exploded with growth after their leaders were put in prison, or the chinese churches that seem to grow with jailed pastors.

Great churches in the west rise and fall on their leaders giftedness and strength. When those leaders go, if the replacement is a lesser leader, the watermark of the church falls to meet his (never hers) level. But was it always meant to be this way?

The dictionary definition of holding various elements together makes me visualize someone being drawn and quartered by wild horses. There are elements in the church that pull in opposing direction. Ever googled “worship wars”? Pastors are the linch pins and they are being pulled apart in every corner of the western world. Barna estimates 1700 pastors are leaving the ministry every MONTH in the US.

Surely leadership in the church was never meant to be the linchpin. It’s just a gift people….


One Response

  1. I agree that many pastors are being made linchpins. This is one of the major problems in our churches today. A shared calling and love for each other should be the linchpin. Churches need to depend on the leadership of a pastor, but in no way should pastors hold it all together.

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