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Leadership reflections: Step off the pedestal

Leadership Reflections 008

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


People sometimes put leaders on pedestals. They can often honour the office of Pastor and sometimes revere Pastors in a way which could be unhelpfully flattering. A pedestal is a shaky place to be as a leader! My encouragement is to do what you can to step off whatever pedestal might be building.

Humility means being earthed

In the Vineyard, we value leaders who lead from a place of humility, a word which comes from the term humus – what happens when a compost heap has had time to compost.

It becomes Humus, which is a rich soil for one’s garden. Humility is earthiness. Being down to earth, and thinking of ourselves as we should. Not as any better – or any worse than we are.

One of the greatest compliments I have been given by a church member was this: He said  “John, I mean no disrespect, but you are just a normal bloke, a great bloke, but just one of us.”

It is vital that people know that we are human too! Down to earth, people that are far from perfect; leaders that welcome healthy constructive criticism and admit to their failings, while working on them, that will apologise when we have done something wrong or hurtful. 

A culture of honour is healthy if it includes honouring everyone. However, it can become unhealthy where the leader is the one looking to be honoured, while feeling the freedom to dishonour others.

Leadership is a special calling. But we are not special people, to be revered or treated differently. We would all do well to step off the pedestals we can find ourselves on.

Leadership is a special calling but we are not special people

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