Trueman on Leadership and Making Difficult Decisions

Carl Trueman has another insightful article this time on leadership. Trueman discusses the tendency today to avoid any decision which will cause any offense. This, he argues, is not an option for those in real leadership positions. Pastors are leaders and we ought to know the reality of Trueman’s statements. If we are going to be faithful to our calling we are sometimes going to have to make decisions which are not all that clear, ones that perhaps later on will be shown to be unwise. We will be tempted to avoid the issue, to stall or to shift responsibility in some way. If we give in to this temptation we will be guilty of cowardice (see 2 Tim 1:7). Sure there is a place for waiting to seek wisdom, etc. But at times in real life a decision will have to be made by leaders who are willing to make a call and receive whatever consequences come. This will not require us then to maintain we were right in all such decisions. It may often require that which is even more difficult- publicly admitting we were wrong. But we must be willing to make decisions and while living semper reformanda, always reforming in light of the Scriptures.
The church needs such leaders among her pastors.

Here are some quotes to entice you to read the full article:

it is perhaps not surprising that as adolescence creeps into middle age, so does the fear of making choices and closing down options; but I wonder if most lethal of all will prove to be not the lack of commitment and stability that characterises Marks’ `cult of options’. Rather the worst of it may well be that a generation is growing up that is happy to sneer and snipe at the decisions of others, but for whom making decisions that bind is something they themselves are incapable of doing, an alien concept no less; and that means not only, as I suspect Mark Dever fears, that a generation will grow up with no real commitments other than to themselves as individuals but also with no real leadership potential.

Too often I suspect that aspiring statesmen in the church are driven more by a need to be liked and to avoid conflict than by a real desire to provide strong leadership; but being a statesman is not a career path; it is something that is earned over many years of making hard decisions, taking unpopular stands, and proving one’s mettle under fire.

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