Listening To The Preacher Sleep: How To Deal With Fallible Leadership


I remember as a child, hearing stories of a local church whose pastor suffered from a @Emmitt Smith Jersey very bad combination: a brain tumor and narcolepsy. In his heyday, this man was a powerful faith healer and profound preacher, but old age brought him the two fore-mentioned challenges. The way I understand it, the tumor affected his ability to communicate coherently, and the narcolepsy would cause him to fall asleep, mid sermon.  Instead of retiring and training and qualifying a worthy replacement, this pastor opted to place his faith in God for himself, like he had for so many others; and the people agreed. The congregation would sit and listen to a sermon that made no sense, and when he would fall asleep, they would simply wait until he woke up. They were actually listening to the preacher sleep!

While the idea of what I’ve just described can be comical, it reveals a sad truth that we still often see today. We tend to believe that leadership, particularly successful leadership, is infallible. Why did no one insist he retire? Why did no one suggest that this may not be a good look?  While, I’m quite sure we know for certain that no man is perfect, we still give leaders too much weight in the balance of wisdom and abilities. Unfortunately, this causes us to improperly credit and praise the leader for successes, as well as inappropriately blame and criticize for failures. Here are 3 tips for leaders, as well as followers, to help us remember our roles in both.

1. The leader does not have to be the smartest person in the room.

The role of leader does not require  him or her to be THE expert. Being the smartest person in the room does not qualify one to lead, so why do we expect our leaders to know everything? Being the leader doesn’t even mean having the best ideas.  A good @Emmitt Smith Authentic Jersey leader will enlist the genius of the experts, and seek the opinions of professionals. We all need to understand that leadership is not about ability as much as it is about responsibility.

2. If the leader is wrong, somebody please speak up.

Organizations are bigger than one person, which lends me to believe that everyone in the organization bears some responsibility in it. Therefore, if a leader is heading down the wrong path, be it professionally or personally, someone needs to speak up. The Bible gives the steps for dealing with a brother at fault in Matthew 18:15-17, but what we don’t realize is that this works for leadership as well. People have the tenancy to be quietly offended in the presence of leaders, until ultimately becoming overrun with emotions that they leave an organization prematurely. This is especially true in the context of ministry, and many times the leader is simply unaware, as in the case of the narcoleptic pastor. Followers have the responsibility to hold leaders accountable, so speak up.

3. Remember that criticism is not bad.

Not only are people afraid to speak up, but leaders are afraid to hear criticism. Criticism is simply the concluded opinion derived from analysed data. @Emmitt Smith Womens Jersey This is the means by which we merit work. Leaders have to be willing to hear criticism, whether it be constructive or not. It is good for the leader to process negative press, and leverage it to make him or herself better, as well as the organization.

Please know that the leader is to be postured as a fellow servant for the organization, playing the position most needed with his or her given strengths and talents. The position doesn’t perpetually produce perfection, so being the leader doesn’t make one infallible.

(As a side note: Leaders, don’t use the cliché, “nobody’s perfect”, as an excuse be unwise and irresponsible).

© 2015 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved

*Featured Image from, © 2006  Bible Gateway 

Leave a Reply