Always lead people, not programs

  • What are you managing?
  • Why are you managing?
  • Do you try to relate to God through a program and miss actually relating to God?
  • Why is it scary to lead people? Failure? Success?

We need covenantal relationships, not contractual relationships.

What makes leading people worth the risk? People are eternal, not programs.

What are the risks in relating with people?

  • expose failures, vulnerable
  • mess people up for eternity
  • decisions affect everyone; bigger circle than self
  • people could potentially reject your leadership
  • hard to be a follower
  • people might not respond well
  • leadership is lonely
  • target of attack (both sides)
  • doubt
  • messy

Leadership is about developing/discipling people and investing significantly in their lives. Programs are great tools to develop people, however they should never become our focus. Leading people is the primary focus while one could use a program as a vehicle or a container for relationships.

All too often, we get program oriented and begin to lose sight of why the program exists: to serve people. Making the paradigm shift to leading people and not programs can be difficult in our system-based world, yet it is absolutely vital to get right.

This is part of a series called Patty Proverbs. When I was in college @ Multnomah University in Portland, our professor, Dr. Steve Patty, shared some proverbial leadership wisdom with his students. These are his “proverbs.”


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