leading vs. managing

You’ve got to have both, leading and managing. Both are vital for a healthy congregation and healthy ministry. But if you lack leadership, a void is obvious. What’s the difference between the two? I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a couple of weeks to a month. Brief thoughts here.

I heard these questions somewhere recently and I’ve really been thinking through them. What are the questions that pinpoint the differences between leading and managing?

  1. A manager asks: “Are we doing the stuff right?”
  2. A leader asks: “Are we doing the right stuff?”

I’m working out the implications of this…with God’s help.


Published by Guy M Williams

Christian | Husband, Father | Pastor | 8th-Gen Texan | Texas A&M ‘96 | Asbury Seminary ‘01 | Enjoy family, reading, running, golf, college football

2 thoughts on “leading vs. managing

  1. We were just discussing something like this in our morning bible study. “Not everyone who says unto me ‘Lord,Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21-29

    The discussion got onto what is God’s will and my thought was that we can do lots of things in God’s name.. but they may not be what God is wanting us to do at the moment. Being a leader means sifting through the good things to find the God things. It means asking the question “Where is God leading this congregation?” and then having the ability and conviction to say yes, if it is in that vision and more importantly to say NO if it is not.

    Good thoughts.. Great to see you at conference. Keep up the good work.

  2. I think that your leading and managing questions are a start in the right direction. However, I think that the leading question is only really the tip of the iceberg. Leadership not only has to look for the “right thing”, but it also has to motivate others to actually do the “right thing”.

    You wrote in your “2008 Annual Conference Reflections” post about speakers taking the conference to task regarding “risk-taking mission.” If these speakers are to be leaders (no judgement intended, I do not know them), they best be out showing how it is done, too. Then the rest of the conference can be encouraged and motivated.

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