Business vs. Ministry: Leadership

Maybe the differences are obvious to you when it comes to leadership in the business and leadership in the church, but the books on our shelves in the local libraries and the books in our churches don't make it clear that people are aware of the distinction. What makes the two different?

In business you need a visionary leader who is driven and passionate about what he's doing. In ministry vision casting is great, passion is necessary, and leadership isn't inherently a dirty word, but the two look very different.

The businessman needs to rally others to his cause. He needs his whole company to catch a similar vision and get on board so they're all driven to the same thing. If people aren't on board with what the company is doing then they need to be pushed out the back door.

In ministry the leader needs to be rallying everyone to Christ. Casting vision for specific ministries is great, but when someone isn't on board they aren't pushed out the back door (or at least shouldn't be), but are instead encouraged to pursue their calling. Sometimes this means sending them elsewhere. The difference is someone engaged in ministry across town targeting the same people is not in opposition with us, in fact we're in this together. A leader in business draws people to himself and his vision. A leader in ministry releases, equips, and enables people to do what the Lord has gifted and called them to do.

I think of this quote:

"At present the military and economic might of Western nations is struggling to counter the threat of international terrorism. It is proving difficult to defeat an enemy made up of local cells working toward a common vision with high autonomy but shared values. They are flexible, responsive, opportunistic, influential, and effective. Together they seem to have an impact on our world far beyond what they would if they formed themselves into a structured, identifiable organization. Churches can and should adopt the same model with a greater impact as we 'wage peace' on the world." - Total Church by Chester and Timmis

Leaders can and should adopt the same model in the church. Ministry is about giving people large amounts of autonomy. Business is about drawing people together to be the biggest and best organization around.

The business leader leads from above. The ministry leader is a servant leader, he leads from below. The business leader's objective is to create confident, bold, self-sufficient leaders. The ministry leader's objective is to encourage humble, Christ-dependant, followers of the Lord.  He must share his life, sins, fears and weaknesses with those he shepherds so they can learn how to lead in weakness. The business man must hide his sins, fears, and weakness so his people can learn how to fearlessly, boldly lead.

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong. " - 1 Corinthians 1:27

"So the last will be first, and the first last.” - Matthew 20:16

Things are different in the Kingdom of God. They should therefore appear different.