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Leadership reflections: Don’t get isolated

Leadership Reflections 010

Over the last few years we have all heard and processed news of leaders who have fallen short of the high standards that are laid out in the Bible. For many of us these instances have been upsetting, painful and heartbreaking. We share those feelings of pain at the abuse, ill treatment and hurt that has been experienced around the Church.

It’s caused Debby and me to reflect again, with some of our team, on the leadership lessons we can learn in this moment; lessons for our own churches and those across the wider Vineyard family here in the UK and Ireland. 

This series of Leadership Reflections contains some teaching and lessons which we have shared with Vineyard Senior Pastors over the last few years.  As we continue to listen and learn from this season, we wanted to open these resources up to anyone who would find them helpful by publishing them publicly.

Our prayer is that you might find these helpful and by the grace of God, together we can create churches that are safe, Kingdom-centred communities for us all to call home.    

John & Debby Wright

National Directors

Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland


Pastoral ministry, in whatever form that takes, can be lonely. It can feel isolating. Any leader knows that. There are times when you do need to lead in an unpopular direction in response to the Lord’s leading, and you might be tempted to withdraw, and tough it out alone. But living in an ivory tower isn’t good for anyone’s mental health, relational health, or spiritual health.

Enjoy Friendship

Pastoral ministry has a tendency to fill all the time allowed with meeting the needs of those in our care. We are designed as relational beings, and along with depleting relationships and neutral relationships – which go with the territory of pastoral ministry – it is vital that we have replenishing relationships.

Spend time with people who, like Hebrews 10 says, will be encouraging to you, who will spur you on towards love and good deeds in your ministry. It is not selfish to make time for replenishing relationships. People you can be yourself with, friends you can meet up with for a great time.

I would hope that, as I do, you have replenishing relationships with some other people who are in this movement. Their shared understanding of some of the pressures of ministry can be very cathartic as you process things. But I would also encourage you to not hold back from making friendships in your church as well as outside it.

We all need replenishing friendships, especially those of us in leadership.

We all need replenishing friendships, especially those of us in leadership. While the temptation may be at times to withdraw, it is vital that we make time to be around friends around whom we can set aside the pressures and challenges of leadership, and be replenished. 

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