I do not have the gift of leadership. My husband does. That may seem strange after what I said about pastoring, but leadership is different than pastoring. A pastor directs the people in the ways they should go. A leader sets the vision. He has the long-term plan. And if it is a gift from God people jump on board and are eager to help, many times doing even more than the leader dreamed. Pastors help guide the people as they accomplish this vision. Administrators see the details. Leaders are often not detail people, so they need these people really close to them.
Administrators see the day-to-day needs and make sure they are done. They do not compete with the leader, but it sometimes seems like they do most of his work. A leader often says, ‘I do not know what I would do without (fill-in-the-name- of -the administrator),’ and he is right, a lot would be missed if these people were not there. They make sure the plans do not crumble, and that the little annoying things get done. (The pastors keep people excited and encourage them to keep their commitment, often plugging them into areas where their skills can be used. They guide the people.) It is a mistake to think either the leader or the administrator could do any big project independent of the other unless a person has both gifts (not common, probably because God likes us to work together as one body). Comparing these two types of gifts is detrimental to the project and must not be done. Leaders often look lazy or incompetent because they are not as concerned about the day-to-day needs, but without their vision there would be no overall plan and great things will not be done.
It is also a mistake to believe that only males are leaders. The Red Cross, the Girl Scouts, Mary Kay and many other organizations were started by women. These women had a vision that probably went even further than they had ever imagined. Sometimes in marriage a wife has leadership skills, where the husband is more administrative. This causes problems if the couple has been taught that only the male may ‘lead.’ The wife sees clearly the vision for the future of their family and is now upset that her husband does not see the same things and even more than she does. Often the husband is okay with following her plan. (Knowing when to use a good plan is a sign of great authority in any organization.) The problem is that the wife wants him to come up with a plan that is better than hers because that is what she was taught the man is to do. Whatever the man being the ‘head’ of the house is, it cannot be this. A good ‘head’ knows to use the people under him and to let them fly when they have an idea. God gives vision to people in authority, yes, but He also gives leadership giftings to others, and a person who has authority knows when someone else has a gift and that it is best for the group to use it! The person with a ‘leadership’ gifting therefore does not have to be in a position of authority. The person in authority merely has to let the ‘leader’ use their gift by identifying that their vision is good, and godly and setting up a situation where the person can see the vision through. (‘Leadership’ is probably a bad term for this gift, since it does not necessarily mean ‘the ultimate authority’ but it is the best we have.) By the way, I am the administrator to my husband’s leadership. That sounds like he would always be ‘in charge’ but since I am better at seeing the details that would snag his plans and I make sure the details get done the reality is that I am often the one telling him what we should do! My instructions are ultimately to accomplish what he has envisioned, but if you only see us function for a short period of time, especially if it is a time where much of the ‘work’ of the plan needs to be done, it could seem like I call most of the shots…