Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

Vineyard Worship

Multiply Vineyard


Leadership reflections: Remind yourself of the consequences of not finishing well

Leadership Reflections 017

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


I don’t know any leader who has messed up, who didn’t regret having done so. Hindsight is a great thing.

If we imagined what it would be like in years to come if we did something which disqualified us from leadership, we can project that back to affect our actions now. It’s worth considering that decisions we make today affect how things will likely turn out years from now.

Count the cost

If I burnt out, what damage would that do to the church and others around me? If I fell into serious sin what damage would that do to me, the church, my loved ones, and so on? If I’m at risk, I need to take whatever action is necessary to address the issues.

Don’t soldier on

Some years ago I got to a place of near burnout. I felt utterly trapped by the work commitments I had made, and was running on empty. I remember being in a restaurant close to our home with Debby and another couple of colleagues, and in the midst of our discussing yet another difficult work situation I became so wound up I could have snapped at any moment.

I said, ‘Count me out. I can’t deal with being involved in this. I’m feeling so much emotion right now that I can hardly contain it!”

That got their attention! And they said “Wow, what’s going on?”

I said “I have more on than I can handle, and I feel trapped.”

Isn’t there something that you can cancel or delegate?

“No, I’ve committed to too many things, and I can’t let people down.”

They said, “what can we take off you?” We looked at my diary together and they were able to spot what someone else could step into.

They went back to the church to deal with what, for me, was the final straw, and I sat by the canal, and poured my heart out to the Lord and cried.

If I hadn’t opened up to others I could have either done something I would regret – like lose my temper or just simply gone under.

It is rarely the specific thing which represents the last straw which breaks the camel’s back which is the problem, but rather the accumulation of all the other things leading towards a breaking point.

If something is wrong, don’t soldier on. Ask for help.

Remember it’s rarely the last straw that’s the thing that breaks the camel’s back but the accumulation of all the other straws that are already on there. If you sense that something is wrong, act early and ask for help.

more like this

Latest Resources

Receive monthly Vineyard updates