Micro-Managing Pastors vs Hands Off Pastors

I took a recent poll of youth workers, asking them which they hated more: Micro-Managing Pastors or Hands Off Pastosr. The overwhelming answer was the micro-managing pastor was worse.

I have worked for both types of pastors and, if had to choose, I would choose the micro manager, not because I like being micro managed but because at least the micro-managers showed some semblance of caring about the end result and how it fit with everything else.

One youth worker nailed my experience with working with a hands off pastor when she said,

“The negative about my hands off leader was he wouldn’t stand up for me even though he agreed with me, BUT he always trusted me to handle things. Trusted my judgment more than his own sometimes. Micro managers don’t trust no matter what you do.”

Granted, I am a self starter and do my job responsibly, with passion and excellence, but there is also a certain loneliness in it, as if I am working by myself rather than on a team.

When I was younger, this youth workers quote rings true.

 “I was looking for guidance and leadership, but also space to spread my wings,”

Most young youth workers need this in order to grow and become.

In my experience,

A micro-manager

wants to know everything

makes suggestions for how it should be done

creates accountability for it being done

In this midst of all this micro is at least a chance for conversation and collaboration.

A hands off pastor

offers unlimited freedom but with unlimited opportunities to make mistakes

when you make a mistake, it’s all you

you have to fix what you broke, with no help from above (except for God)

That’s my reasoning behind why I’d choose micro over hands off.

Each style has pros and con but neither is the best way to lead.

Which do you hate more?





Is Your Youth Ministry Lost? Maps Available



Have you ever been lost in a city or town and stopped to ask for directions? I have and the mistake I made was asking a group of people for directions. There were several ideas of how to get me to my destination. They said things like, “You could take route 22…..” , interruption, “No, no, that;s too long, take the freeway to….”. See what I mean? Each person had a set of directions, a map they wanted to hand me and say, “Go this way.” As far as physical directions go, either way will do you, you just want to get there, but in guiding a youth group, or any organization, you do have a choice.

Choice 1Take the map. Take everyone’s map. I did and I spent  most of my time plotting over the maps and discussing best routes than actually making progress. Ever been through a Youth Convention Exhibit Hall? There are hundreds of maps being given out. The missions map. The small group map. The outreach map. Everyone’s telling you how to get where you want to go, the only problem is they don’t know where you are going and maybe you don’t either. Your Pastor and your denomination have a map too. Harder to ignore but is it the right map for your youth ministry?

Choice 2Glance at the maps you’re given, but decide to draw your own map instead. Get in you prayer closet and ask the Lord which direction you should go. Why go the way everyone else is going? It may not be the right way. It may not be the best way for your youth ministry. God has a map for our ministries which He’ll be happy to share with us.

Do you feel like your youth ministry is lost? God knows the way, just stop and ask for directions.

Have you taken the wrong direction in youth ministry before? How did that happen?

How are you currently finding your way? What device or path are you taking? A class? Blogs? Curriculum? Prayer and a combination of things?

Do you know where you want to take your youth ministry? Where?

I’d love for you share you lost story and how you are finding your way. Let me know in the comments below.

You May Not Want To Be A Leader If….


Link to photo

You might not want to be a leader if…

You don’t like criticism.

You don’t want to come early and stay late.

You don’t like risk.

You want everyone to like you.

You’d rather be the star of the show.

You’d rather sleep late.

You’d rather rely on yourself rather on God.

You don’t like serving others You don’t like getting your message out.

You don’t like making and achieving goals.

You don’t like making the world a better place.

You don’t like helping others succeed.

You don’t like sacrifice.

You don’t like success.

Do you want to be a leader?

Count the cost and then do it anyway.

The church needs more leaders/servants. Step up, it’s not crowded.