One of the most important lessons I have learned in my two decades as a pastor is that it is important to choose our battles. Neglecting this can easily destroy the pastor and/or the congregation.
What do I mean by “choose our battles”? Not every issue is worth throwing our full effort to either promote or prevent.
I have found the following principles relevant to this idea:
- Fighting for one issue may weaken my position for the issue I really care about.
- It takes time to build the relational authority to get stuff done.
- Sometimes the idea is good but the timing is bad.
- Sometimes the idea is just bad.
- Sometimes the other person’s idea is better.
- The consequences of getting my way may not outweigh the benefits.
- I don’t have to always get my own way.
- If I am going to fight for something, I need to be willing to stick around to see it through.
There have been times that I have wanted to do something but the leadership or the congregation wasn’t interested.
There have been times that someone proposed an idea that I wasn’t interested in.
All of this is fine. In fact I believe that a leader who always gets their way will lead to an unhealthy environment. It will discourage ideas from other leaders and people will become afraid to oppose bad ideas.
There are certain issues that I am passionate about and am willing to fight for. But not everything fits into this category. The challenge is to be able to distinguish which is which.