I can liken it also to my change of roles between Assistant Principal and Principal. After being promoted, I spoke to my previous Principal, a mentor and dear friend. We laughed at how my desk went from orderly to order-less! I had moved from completing the “to do’s” she gave to me, to creating the “to do” list. At some level, this is illustrative of the differences in administrator and leader. An administrator is attentive to checking items off a given list, while a leader is intent upon defining shared purposes, goals, and plans to be accomplished jointly by her and others. A true leader has great vision and investment in the development of collective mission. An administrator tends to follow a given vision and plan. Both roles are necessary to the success of any organized body.
We all serve in both roles in different areas and seasons of life. It is said that everyone always reports to someone else. So in that way, we are all administrators at some level. But according to God’s timing and plan, we may be granted the privilege to be persons of greater influence, stepping beyond task-completion to group-development. It is when we shift our focus, even for a moment, from simple tasks to significant touches in the lives of others that we move from administrative thinking to leadership perception.
We have the opportunity and responsibility to be both administrators and leaders in the body of Christ as called by God. As administrators of God’s goals, we follow His vision, choose to be invested in His objectives and join Him in His activities. As leaders, we influence others to do the same. Leadership is about influence. A wise person once said, “If you think you are a leader, look behind you to see if anyone is following.” If there is, we should look back at our pathway and ensure we are leading her in the right direction.