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Power of Buy-In

I will not always want to do things the way my leader wants me to.

I ve had employers that have asked me to do things that I would NOT have done if I had been the boss.  To NOT do what they want, would change my employment status.  To NOT do what they want would be willful disobedience.  Sometimes I m asked to do thing in a way that isn t necessarily my way of doing things.  Sometimes decisions are made by those in leadership, that don t always reflect my convictions.  This is life.  To not admit it, I would be living in denial. 

Assuming that I m not being asked to do something that compromises my morals, integrity, and honor; I will have to do what I m being asked.  And I will have to do it like it was my idea in the first place.  Therein lies the trap.  I really believe that to do what my boss asks, but do it with the attitude that I m being forced into it isn t beneficial to anyone.  To not give my all for those in leadership above me, compromises their authority.  I ve got to take ownership of my leader s decisions. 

Taking ownership means that I don t obey simply to fill in a checkmark next to the task on my to-do list.  Taking ownership means that I defend the decision, and pass it off as my very own.  If I make it known that I m doing something in a way that isn t my way it undermines my own authority, alienates those in authority over me, and decreases my potential for success. 

As a little pastor at my church (meaning my importance on the leadership scale is down towards the bottom) I have made it my life goal to see the vision of my leaders fulfilled.  I am willing to do anything that helps my Senior Pastor accomplish what God s plan is for our church and our city.  There are those that work for me that are forced into the exact same situation.  I might ask them to do something that is my own personal conviction, and something they might not do if they were in charge.  I always assess those that work for me by their ability to support my leadership and the leadership above me.  If the are blaming me for the problems in their area, then they aren t buying in to the vision.  If they are openly using my name to ask people to do things, then they are simply being the messenger. The messenger isn t the owner.  I need those willing to own what God has called us to do in our city and church.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. jabberfrog · February 2, 2009

    great thoughts. and I believe that honors God.