Leaders live in two worlds: the one of reality, where their church or organization is, and the other is the one that is not yet, the world they are moving towards as a church.
To lead well, leaders must live where their churches are, and they must lead them to where they are going. Which means they must have a firm grasp on reality and the present, as well as where they are going. Too many pastors seem to coast into the future, not sure where they are going, not sure how they will get there.
It is easy to spend too much time in either the present or the future and miss out. You can get too far ahead of your church which means you will have a difficult time getting into the future. You can spend too much time in the present and not see a vision for where you are going and get stuck in the details of just doing church.
It is a balance. It is the tension of leadership.
Many times pastors can lead churches that no longer exist. If a church grew at one point and reached 500 but has now dropped down to 150 on a Sunday, many pastors will continue as if that church is 500.
But the church has changed now.
The reality that pastors must walk with, especially because many people in their church will think their church is still what it was.
It is crucial for a leader to pull back and get “on the balcony” of their church to see what is going on and understand where they are and where they need to go.