In the previous post I entitled "Purposeful Reminiscing" I gave my definition of leadership and managing. I want to start by repeating these definitions.
Managing is getting through today.
Leadership is 1) Purposeful Reminiscing, 2) Comparing your activities to your Mission and Value Statements and 3) Planning for the future to make sure you are ready and relevant for the future.
To start this conversation I would like to have you think about the Adventist Church Manual. Being the Site Director at Washington and hearing my wife, Marsha tell the stories along with visiting tour guides, there is something we often forget. Every rule in the Adventist Church Manual started with someone doing something that we decided needed a rule. However, we forget the reason the rules were made.
For instance, every rule we have on church discipline started with Stephen A. Smith. Who was the first person disfellowshipped at Washington. (And the second person disfellowshipped at Washington also. ) Every rule we have for when to discipline goes back to Stephen A. Smith. (Which is not the most important part of Stephen A. Smith's story. His final conversion and appeal to those going out to the campmeetings to let others know "Another rebel has surrendered" is more important.)
What I want members to understand from this post is that we make rules to prevent people from making mistakes. And that is okay. The difficulty is that many times we only consider the rule from the managing point of view only. In other words, we make a rule to get through today's issue. But often we do not consider the rule from the leadership point of view. And many management decisions actually work to make us less effective for the future, or even go against our mission and value statements. When we do this we actually undermine our own leadership.
An example: We make budgets that have every dollar assigned to a category. And it helps us manage the funds. But in the process new work is no longer in the budget. If our mission as a denomination is to reach out to the world, funding new work is critical. If we are to try new ideas to reach our communities locally we must have funding for these new ideas. So our percentage budget method which helps us manage may be undercutting our leadership in being prepared and relevant in the future. It may also cause us to undermine our mission and value statements.
If we are to lead our churches we must not only consider the impact of our decisions for managing today, but do they also allow us to be relevant for the future? And do they help us reach our mission? This is why understanding the difference between managing and leadership is important.