Costly leadership

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at

Leadership is expensive. Costly. Cheap leadership is never good leadership.

Here are seven high costs of good leadership:

1. Personal agenda. Good leaders give up their personal desires for the good of others, the team or the organization.

2. Control. What you control, you limit. Good leaders give freedom and flexibility to others in how they accomplish the predetermined goals and objectives.

3. Popularity. Leading well is no guarantee a leader will be popular. In fact, there will be times where the opposite is more true. Leaders take people through change. Change is almost never initially popular.

4. Comfort. If you are leading well, you don’t often get to lead comfortably. You get to wrestle with messiness and awkwardness and push through conflict and difficulty. It’s for a noble purpose, but it isn’t easy.

5. Fear. Good leadership goes into the unknown. That’s often scary. Even the best leaders are anxious at times about what is next.

6. Loneliness. I believe every leader should surround themselves with other leaders. We should be vulnerable enough to let others speak into our life. But there will be days when a leader has to stand alone. Others won’t immediately understand. On those days, the quality of strength in a leader is revealed. This one should never be intentional, but when you are leading change, when it involves risk and unknowns, this will often be for a season a significant cost.

7. Outcome. We follow worthy visions. We create measurable goals and objectives. We discipline for the tasks ahead. We don’t, however, get to script the way people respond, how times change or how the future unfolds.

As leaders, we should consider whether we are willing to pay the price for good leadership. It’s not cheap!

I’ve identified seven costs of leadership. Help me identify a few more. What costs of leadership have you discovered?

Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.

For the original article, visit

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Order Life in the Spirit to actively grow your ministry in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your congregation will stay saturated in God's Word, learn to hear His voice, understand their purpose and calling and move into an active role in your ministry.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Jentezen Franklin encourages church leaders to encourage their flocks to vote their values.

    Why We Must Count the Cost—and Vote

    There is a propaganda war that is raging in this country, and it is full of manipulation, lies, ...

  • Why did you choose the church you attend?

    7 Key Reasons People Choose a Church

    The real issue is not the intrigue of this research; it is what you and your church will do about ...

  • Graveyard

    An Autopsy of a Deceased Pastor

    There are eight common patterns to look for.

  • Many of these issues are self-inflicted.

    10 Poisons That Will Kill Any Church

    Here is why the churches that die from them do so by their own hand.

  • The Key to True Power

    The Key to True Power

    Jesus overturned every worldly idea about power when He introduced the concept of servant leadership.

  • Have you ever had a cringe moment during your church announcements?

    The 7 Deadly Sins of Church Announcements

    Sometimes they just miss the mark, albeit unintentionally.

  • Some of these reasons for leaving the church are simply not plausible.

    7 Reasons People Leave Their Church During Crisis Times

    Some of the excuses are pretty extreme and, quite frankly, lazy.

  • Do yourself and her a favor. Take the target off your pastor's wife's back.

    Why Pastors' Wives Have a Target on Their Back

    Here are three instances of what we are doing to the wives of God's servants sent to ...

  • The heart of a leader is more important than any other characteristic.

    5 Qualities to Seek in the Heart of a Leader

    The hope here is that you would reflect on your own leadership and consider your own heart as a ...

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders