Stress sabotages numerous leaders. Often an active follower cannot handle the extra stress that comes with leadership. An example of this is found in the stories of Moses and Aaron. When Moses was on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, the people in the valley grew anxious. The people started to put pressure on Aaron to act. Instead of remaining firm, Aaron gave in to the people’s desires and allowed the golden calf to be created.
Often a leader is attempting to change something within a congregation. This change can be healthy but will still be resisted. Therefore, church members will do whatever it takes to bring back homeostasis within the congregation. One of the best tactics that immature members use is to complain about and resist the leader’s forward progress. Dealing with this anxiety is placed on the leader’s plate. If the leader is not defined enough as an individual, he or she will give in to appease the people.
Peter Steinke provides some insight into characteristics that will help the leader to overcome the stress in leading. He notes that a differentiated leader will take a stand, focus on self, stay connected to others, fight the urge to avoid the trouble-maker, set clear goals, and accept challenges. There is going to be stress in leadership, but the leader must accept the challenge of defining himself instead of being defined by the masses.
 Peter L. Steinke, Healthy Congregations (Alban Institute, 1996), 98.
- A Person of Vision
- A Person of Initiation
- Peace or Mission
- A Person of Influence
- Review of “Making Peace”